Swedish Backpacker Gets Two Years for Trying to Mail Medicine

A Swedish national Markus Olson, 22, was sentenced to two years in jail in Phnom Penh yesterday for attempting to post some 8.000 pills, including testosterone supplements and painkillers, which are freely available in Phnom Penh’s pharmacies, back to Sweden. Markus Olson, was arrested in October 2011 when he tried to post the pills.
“We have enough evidence because the suspect confessed to the court,” judge Duch Kimsan said. Both Mr. Olson and his laywer, Khieu Van, declined to comment on the sentence or whether they would appeal.
At his August 22 trial, Mr. Olson said that he did not know he was breaking the law and was simply trying to save some personal cost by buying the medicine in pharmacies in Phnom Penh and then posting them home for use by himself and his family. At the time, his laywer said the court lacked enough evidence for a conviction.
In September 2009, a Danish woman Johanne Vinther Axelsen, 55, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Cambodia for a similar offence. She was arrested for trying to send 28 envelopes with 10.761 pills containing codeine from a post office in Cambodia to America on behalf of her son.
In March 2010 Danish retiree Mr. Mikkel Hass donated 40.000 Danish kroner in cash that was paid out via the Danish embassy in Phnom Penh to the court in Phnom Penh for her release and transfer to Denmark.


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