Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday sentenced a Lao drug ringleader to life imprisonment.
Phoum Malath Khampoun, 37, was caught in a sting operation trying to smuggle nearly three kilos of crystal methamphetamine into Cambodia last year.
Presiding judge Top Chhunheng said the suspect was snared by an undercover police agent. “The court sentenced him to life imprisonment and a fine of 80 million riel ($20,000),” Mr Chhunheng said.
Lieutenant Colonel Preung Pheap of the Interior Ministry anti-drug police said a Lao-speaking undercover officer phoned Mr Malath Khampoun in Stung Treng province and ordered 3kg of ice a week before the suspect’s arrest.
After agreeing on a price of $90,000, the agent arranged to buy the drugs from Mr Malath Khampoun in Phnom Penh on the evening of June 29, last year.
“After his arrest, police seized six big packages of crystal methamphetamine weighing nearly 3kg as well as other related material.”
Mr Malath Khampoun denied drug trafficking and vowed to challenge his conviction in the Appeal Court.