Romanians, Nigerians Arrested in Cambodian Drug Bust

Shards of methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as crystal meth. Photo: Radspunk / Wikimedia Commons

PHNOM PENH — Cambodian police say they have arrested two Romanians and three Nigerians after seizing nearly 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of methamphetamine from one of them as he prepared to board a flight to Hong Kong.

Deputy National Police Chief Mok Chito said police on Wednesday found the drug, in a form known as crystal meth or ice, in a backpack belonging to Romanian Narcis-Manuel Olaru at the airport in Siem Reap in northeastern Cambodia.

Olaru told police four other members of his gang lived in the capital, Phnom Penh, where they were arrested. Mok Chito said the suspects confessed they received the drug from Laos and its ultimate destination was New Zealand, where it would be worth three times its Cambodian value of about USD$50,000 per kilogram ($22,700 per pound).