Police at Phnom Penh International Airport arrested two Chinese men Sunday for allegedly trying to smuggle 2.1 kg of heroin out of the country, officials said.
As they passed through X-ray machines prior to a 10 am flight to Hong Kong, Yen Chuan Hsueh, 48, and Chitsung Lieh, 58, attracted the attention of the police with their awkward gait, said Theam Chansotha, assistant to Khieu Sam An, the airport customs chief.
When they searched the two men, police allegedly found Yen Chuan Hsueh with a total of 1.4 kg of the drug in his shoes and strapped to both his thighs, and Chitsung Lieh with 700 grams of the drug in his shoes, he added.
“With the packaging, both weighed a total of 2.1 kg,” Theam Chansothea said. “Their aim was to smuggle the heroin to Hong Kong.”
Both men were transferred Sunday afternoon into the custody of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug police, according to Airport Police Chief Chhuor Kimny.
Moek Dara, the anti-drug police chief, could not be reached for comment.
In 2004, a kilogram of heroin sold in Hong Kong for $29,341 to $47,680, according to the 2006 World Drug Report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
Sunday’s arrests bring the total number of people allegedly caught smuggling heroin through the airport this year to at least nine.
Airport police in September arrested a Taiwanese brother and sister who were allegedly carrying over 2 kg of the drug in their shoes as they prepared to board a flight for Guangzhou province in China.