PHNOM PENH: Cambodian authorities seized nearly 100 kilogrammes of ecstasy hidden in pet food shipments from Germany, police said Monday (Aug 13), after charging a Chinese national in connection with the record haul.
The suspect, identified as Yao Zeye, was arrested on Aug 7 after coming to the Phnom Penh central post office to pick up the boxes, said National Anti-Drugs Authority deputy secretary-general Mok Chito.
In total 98kg of MDMA pills – better known as ecstasy – were discovered in the shipment, which was intended for distribution locally and in Vietnam.
“This is the biggest bust of ecstasy” in Cambodia, Chito told AFP, adding that one pill of the party drug sold for between US$20 and US$80 and the total haul was worth “millions” of dollars.
Yao Zeye was charged over the weekend with drug trafficking and faces up to life imprisonment if convicted, as police look into possible accomplices.
Cambodia has taken a hard line on drugs in recent years in response to smugglers turning to the country as a transit point, particularly for heroin and methampetamine.
Heavy sentences are passed down for drug trafficking, with hundreds arrested including senior officials and foreigners.
In June, a court jailed a Belgian man for life after he was found guilty of smuggling a kilogram of cocaine into the kingdom through a suitcase.
The same month authorities in a separate case seized 120kg of crystal methamphetamine smuggled in from Laos.
The kingdom has also cracked down on safrole oil, an ingredient in cosmetics that can be used as a precursor in making ecstasy.