Two Nigerian men were provisionally charged on Monday for allegedly trafficking about 1 kg of cocaine concealed among jewelry to one of their homes in Phnom Penh, an anti-drug official said.
The drugs, packed into 189 small plastic bags each holding a pair of earrings, were shipped from Colombia through Hong Kong, China and Thailand before arriving in Cambodia, said In Song, administration bureau chief at the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department.
Police arrested Nigerian national Chukwuka Boniface Okoro, 27, the intended recipient of the package, at about 3 p.m. on Thursday at his house in Pur Senchey district’s Choam Chao commune, Mr. Song said. Following his interrogation, police arrested another Nigerian man, Dozie Frank Obiora, 33, at a car wash in Meanchey district, he said.
Police were still looking for a third Nigerian man, the alleged ringleader of the operation, he added.
Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combatting Drugs, said the street value of the bust is $100,000.
The bust resulted from a tip from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Mr. Song said, although he declined to reveal how police were led to Mr. Okoro’s residence or other details of the investigation.
The two suspects, who have lived in Cambodia since 2015, were provisionally charged with “unlawful keeping, transporting or trafficking of narcotics substances,” Mr. Song said.
They were sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Sunday, briefly questioned by an investigating judge on Monday evening and were being held at the anti-drug department, he said. The pair were expected in court again today, he said.