Drug Mule’s Mother Alleges Australian Tip-Off

The mother of an Australian teen­ager jailed in Cambodia for heroin traf­­ficking has accused Australian po­lice of tipping off their Cambodian coun­terparts rather than arresting her son in Australia after she in­formed them of his activities.

Hong Ta said she notified police when she suspected her son, Gor­don Vuong, was about to act as a drug mule, and that she had hoped the police would use her in­form­ation to stop her son before he left the country, the Australian Broad­casting Corp­oration reported Wednesday.

Gordon Vuong, who was 16 at the time, was arrested at Phnom Penh International Airport in 2005, with 2.1 kg of heroin, as he tried to leave the country. He is currently serving 13 years at Prey Sar prison.

An Australian Em­bassy spokes­man declined to comment. Asked about the reports, In­ter­i­or Ministry spokesman Lieutenant Gen­eral Khieu Sopheak said he had no new information on the Vuong case.

Vuong’s lawyer claimed the Aus­tralian Federal Police had be­trayed his client’s trust after the teen­ager’s mother went to police in an attempt to stop her son from smug­gling drugs, the Australian As­sociated Press reported.

According to AAP, Australian Justice Minister Chris El­lison denied that Australia tipped off Cam­bodian police. But ABC ran a con­tradictory report, in which Ellison confirmed that the AFP had provided information to Cam­bodia.                         “Police replied with the information that they had in relation to Gordon Vuong,” ABC quoted El­lison as saying, adding that he stood by his officers’ actions.

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