Three Alleged Heroin Smugglers in Court

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday heard the case of three foreigners charged with attempting to smuggle 2.2 kg of heroin from Cambodia to Australia in September.

Australian national Yoshe Ann Taylor, 41, and French national Charlene Savarino were arrested September 19 at Phnom Penh International Airport when police found drugs hidden in Ms. Taylor’s backpack.

Police later arrested Nigerian national Precious Chinemewnoko, who is alleged to have been the ringleader of the group, in Chamkar Mon district.

Ms. Taylor told the court Wednesday that the backpack she was carrying did not belong to her. She said it belonged to Mr. Chinemewnoko, who asked her to carry it to Australia.

“I did not know the bag contained drugs,” she said. “I saw I had [the drugs] when police arrested me at the airport and made me open my bag.”

Ms. Taylor said the bag was given to her by Ms. Savarino, who was Mr. Chinemewnoko’s girlfriend at the time.

Ms. Savarino said Wednesday that she carried the bag for Mr. Chinemewnoko and handed it to Ms. Taylor, but did not know it contained drugs.

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