Aussie ‘love-scam’ victim jailed in Cambodia wins appeal
AN Australian mother, who is serving a 23 year sentence in a Cambodian prison after she fell for a Nigerian internet love scam, will have her case redetermined in a stunning legal win.
Yoshe Anne Taylor, a Queensland kindergarten teacher, was arrested before boarding a flight to Australia at Phnom Penh Airport with 2.2kg of heroin in her backpack in September 2013. She has always denied any involvement in the crime.
Fairfax Media and SBS revealed in 2016 that the 46-year-old mother-of-two was a victim of an internet dating scam run by an international drug smuggling syndicate, which seduced her to Cambodia promising companionship and assistance in helping her start an arts and crafts business, before using her as a drug mule.
The AFP and Commonwealth prosecution authorities are familiar with the syndicate and reportedly have plenty of evidence that suggests Ms Taylor is innocent.
Now her case has been revoked by Cambodia's Supreme Court and will be remitted to the Cambodian Court of Appeal.
Unbeknown to Cambodian authorities at the time of Taylor's 2014 trial, or her unsuccessful appeal in 2016, her co-accused, Nigerian national, Nwoko Precious Chineme, who went by the online pseudonym "Precious Max", scammed a number of other Australian women caught entering Australia with drugs.
He told his online victims that he was a successful South African businessman working in Cambodia, procuring them with charm, sex appeal and job opportunities.
Ms Taylor has spent five years living in horrible conditions at the Police Judicial Prison on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, where she has developed a string of health complications and suffered serious weight loss.
Her two young children are still living in Queensland and have written their mother letters to ask when she will be coming home.
Before her 2016 appeal, the mother told Fairfax: "I just want to come home and be with my kids, I miss them so much, they mean the world to me. I just want this nightmare to be over."
No date has yet been set for the court of appeal hearing.