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Foreigner Caught Mailing Drugs

A Danish woman is facing charges of drug smuggling, after she was caught trying to mail pills containing codeine—a controlled substance—from a Phnom Penh post office, officials said Friday.

Axelexen Johanne Vinther, 45, had mixed thousands of tablets containing codeine among other medicine and toys in a package bound for the US, officials said.

Authorities confiscated about 1 kilogram of codeine tablets for lab inspection, said Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Sok Kalyan.

“They kept only the suspect codeine tablets, and took out the toys and medicine in the package,” he said.

Codeine, a widely used opiate, remains legal to buy over the counter in Cambodia, but illegal to ship overseas.

“We have implemented Cambodia and international law,” said Lt. Gen. Lour Ramin, secretary-general of the National Drug Authority. “If she claims innocence, why did she hide codeine with medicine and toys? Now it’s a court matter.”

Vinther has said she was asked only to mail a package in exchange for money, he added.

Court officials say there will be more investigation and lab work in the case.

Several foreign nationals are serving jail time in Cambodia for attempting to mail heroin.

Vinther faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted.