The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday charged two women, one Thai and one Cambodian, with drug trafficking and possession after anti-drug police arrested them at Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday and seized almost 5 kg of powdered methamphetamine destined for the Cambodian market, police said.
The Thai national, 29-year-old Chingpang Wilawan, was arrested at 10:45 a.m. after airport police discovered 4.911 kg of the drug stashed inside her suitcase when they searched her luggage upon her arrival from Malaysia.
Suspecting that Ms. Chingpang was not acting alone, police continued to investigate and arrested a second woman, 44-year-old Cambodian Keo Davy, who arrived a short time later at the airport to pick up the suitcase containing drugs.
“Police waited and watched for a second suspect and spotted the woman who came to get the luggage,” said In Song, deputy director of the Ministry of Interior’s anti-drug trafficking department, adding that the women were sent to the anti-drug department, where they both confessed under questioning.
“Ms. Chingpang said that she took the drugs in a suitcase from India to Malaysia and then to Phnom Penh,” Mr. Song said. “Ms. Davy confessed that she was paid $200 by an African man in Phnom Penh to come to the airport to collect the suitcase and said that the drugs were intended for distribution in Cambodia.”
Mr. Song noted that Phnom Penh was being used more frequently as a gateway for drug trafficking, and anti-drug police have increased their presence at its airport recently. While traffickers often only transit in Cambodia, in this case Cambodia was the final destination for the drugs, he added.
“Our police now have enough experience to identify suspects and perform checks on them,” Mr. Song said, adding that the investigation is ongoing, as he believes there are more suspects involved in this case.
Deputy Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Top Chhunlong said the women had been sent to the investigating judge for further questioning.