Romanian, Nigerian Charged Over Seized Cocaine

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has charged and jailed a Romanian man accused of attempting to smuggle nearly 5 kg of cocaine into Cambodia from Brazil on Sunday, along with a Nigerian man police say was meant to receive the drugs, a court official said on Thursday.

Adrian-Calin Varadi, 35, and Chukwuemeka Ibe, 40, were charged with drug trafficking on Wednesday and placed in provisional detention at Prey Sar prison, according to court spokesman Y Rin. Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said the men would be tried—and convicted—in Cambodia.

“This case occurred in Phnom Penh, so they will convict them at our court in Phnom Penh,” Lieutenant General Vyrith said.

According to police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had told officials at Phnom Penh International Airport to watch for a Romanian drug trafficker flying in from Brazil.

The cocaine, with a market value of nearly $500,000, was found in luggage belonging to Mr. Varadi, who then led the police to a guesthouse in Phnom Penh where Mr. Ibe was waiting to receive the drugs, officials said.

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