A Malaysian man was caught trying to smuggle more than a kilogram of heroin out of Cambodia on Monday when officials at Phnom Penh International Airport patted him down and found the drugs strapped to his thighs, an official said.
Ahmad Johari Chung, a 22-year-old native of Malaysia’s Sabah state, was arrested at the airport at about 12:08 p.m., shortly before his Bassaka Air flight to Macau, said Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs.
The heroin weighed 1,068 grams and is worth about $700,000 on the streets of Macau, General Vyrith said.
Mr. Chung checked in for his flight and passed through immigration with the drugs wrapped tightly to both thighs with white gauze, according to an immigration official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to communicate with the media.
When officials at the security checkpoint patted him down, they grew suspicious and sent him to an interrogation room, where the heroin was found, the official said.
“We searched him and patted him down at the same time—that’s how we found it,” he said, adding that Mr. Chung was then taken to the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department at about 4:30 p.m. for further questioning.
Department director Khieu Saman declined to comment.
Just last month, a Romanian man was arrested at the Phnom Penh airport with nearly half a million dollars worth of cocaine in his luggage. Acting on a tip from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, police also apprehended a Nigerian national who was to accept delivery of the drugs. Both men were subsequently charged with trafficking.
In May, a Nigerian man arriving from the United Arab Emirates was found with 70 pellets of cocaine in his stomach. The month before, a Thai woman disembarking a flight from Qatar was caught with 2.5 kg of cocaine mixed among her Lindt-brand chocolates.