Woman Arrested for Alleged Drug Trafficking

Interior Ministry police arrested a Danish woman Wednesday even­ing in Phnom Penh on suspicion of attempting to mail more than 10,000 painkiller tab­lets to the US and Canada, an of­ficial said Thursday.

The woman, identified by police as Axelxen Johanne Vin­ther, 45, was arrested while al­legedly trying to send 10,761 pills containing co­deine by post at the central post of­fice near Wat Phnom, said Chay Sin­arith, director of the Interior Min­istry’s In­ter­nal Security De­partment.

Police questioned Vinther for four hours outside the post office and at the Interior Ministry, Chay Sinarith said.

Vinther was sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thurs­day. Though codeine pills are freely available in pharmacies in Cam­bodia, Chay Sinarith said the wo­man was arrested on suspiction of drug trafficking.

Municipal court Chief Prosecutor Ouk Savuth confirmed that Vinther was sent to the court Thursday, but he declined to comment further on the case or the charges against the woman.

While codeine is legal to buy and sell in Cambodia, the drug is still considered a controlled substance by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said Margarethe Ehren­feldner, chief of the psychotropics con­trol section of the UNODC, at the close of a four-day anti-drug conference in Phnom Penh on Thurs­day.

Lour Ramin, secretary-general of the National Authority for Com­bating Drugs, said the case wasn’t the first involving foreigners who have been caught trying to send drugs abroad in the post.

“They sometimes package the drugs and then put them in electrical devices or boxes,” he said.

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