A man found at Phnom Penh International Airport last year with $700,000 worth of heroin strapped to his thighs said in court on Thursday that he had been forced by an acquaintance to traffic the drugs to Taipei via Macau.
Malaysian national Ahmad Johari Chung, 23, was caught by chance during a routine patdown with about 1kg of heroin tightly bound to his legs with gauze.
He was arrested and charged with possessing, transporting and dealing drugs.
Mr. Chung told the Phnom Penh Municipal Court through an interpreter that he had been invited to Cambodia by Chinese national Choi Chun Tung, whom he had met through a friend.
At a Phnom Penh hotel—the name of which he said he could not remember—two men wrapped packages of heroin to his legs even as he resisted, he said.
Asked by Presiding Judge Ly Sokleng why he did not report the drugs to police once he arrived at the airport, Mr. Chung said: “At that time, I did not speak Khmer and, second, I knew English [only] a little…. I was afraid there would be problems if I shouted.”
Judge Sokleng said Mr. Choi was being sought as an accomplice and remained at large.
sony@cambodiadaily.com
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