Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced a Thai national to life in prison on Friday for smuggling nearly 20 kilos of methamphetamine and heroine into the country last year through the Lao border in Stung Treng province.
Presiding Judge Leang Samnath sentenced Chhay Yaphung Saiphan, 52, to life in prison as well as a fine of $20,000 for his crimes.
“Though the accused denied ever being the owner of the drugs, he was truly involved and he committed the trafficking,” said Judge Samnath. “Therefore, the court has decided to sentence him to life in prison a fine of 80 million riels to put in the state budget.”
According to a police report, on the evening of August 1 last year, Mr Saiphan transported three kilos of drugs by car from the Cambodia-Laos border in Stung Treng.
Mr Saiphan then sold the drugs to an undercover police officer disguised as a drug boss from Phnom Penh.
Anti-drug police then arrested Mr Saiphan, seizing the three kilos and going onto search his rentail room in Phnom Penh, where they found two packages of heroine weighing more than half of a kilogram, additional packages of methamphetamine weighing six kilograms and nine packages of tablets.
During the trial on March 16, Mr Saiphan confessed to the crime. However, Mr Saiphan claimed the drugs did not belong to him.
According to Mr Saiphan, the drugs belonged to another Thai man who goes by the name “Din Pai”. Mr Saiphan testified that Din Pai hired him to transport the drugs.
The court and police said that Mr Saiphan’s claims were false as police could not uncover any man named “Din Pai”.