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Ivory smuggler insists on innocence

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
The seized ivory is laid out at the port. Its value was put at tens of millions of dollars. Supplied

A businessman is appealing his conviction for smuggling more than three tonnes of ivory into Cambodia, the largest haul ever seized.
Khan Sinith, the director of an import-export and freight-forwarding company, was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 50 million riel by Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court.
He was found guilty of hiding elephant tusks inside a container transporting soy beans, which arrived from Malaysia in 2014 and was destined for a third country.
The haul was found after the container was scanned by customs police at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, who uncovered 108 packages of ivory.
The value of the ivory would have run into tens of millions of dollars.
Mr Sinith, who is currently on bail while awaiting a hearing at the Court of Appeal, protested his innocence when contacted by the Khmer Times.
He said he was waiting to be summoned for his appeal hearing, adding the provincial court had not issued a warrant for his arrest.
“This is unjust because I did not commit the crime as charged,” he said. “I have taken my case to the Court of Appeal because I want it to deliver justice and acquit me.” The Reho Both Company director said he had always made clear to police that the consignment did not belong to him. Hout Vichet, deputy prosecutor and spokesman for Preah Sihanouk court, declined to comment on the case.

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