A well-known fortuneteller was jailed yesterday for three years and fined $1,000 for trafficking nearly three grams of crystal methamphetamine in Phnom Penh.
Vann Sokseiha, 22, also known as Hora Akineth, was arrested in September last year by Interior Ministry anti-drug police at his rental house in Boeng Sralang commune.
Presiding Judge Vann Senvisoth said police seized 2.68 grams of crystal methamphetamine, as well as other drug related material from Mr Sokseiha after his arrest.
“The court decided to sentence him to three years in prison,” Judge Senvisoth said. “The court also fined him four million riel (about $1,000) to be put in the national budget.”
Dam Chhoeun, deputy chief of the ministry’s anti-drug police, said Mr Sokseiha was famous for his magic.
People knew him through his Facebook account and from his YouTube performances which involved him being shot at and slashed with swords while remaining unharmed.
These performances were viewed and liked by hundreds of thousands of people inside and outside the country, he said.
Mr Chhoeun said that on the day of his arrest, Mr Sokseiha slipped out of his handcuffs and was recuffed by police many times.
“He was arrested while he was selling drugs to our undercover agent,” Mr Chhoeun said.
Mr Sokseiha said during the trial that he trafficked the drug because he did not have money to pay the $200 monthly rent for his house.
He said the sentence was harsh but he had not yet decided whether to appeal.
“I want to appeal this judgement to the Appeal Court. But I don’t expect the Appeal Court will reduce my sentence because I don’t have money to hire a lawyer to process my case,” he said.
He said he had lost 15 kilos since he was arrested and detained in Prey Sar prison in September.
He also called on Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Minister of Justice to reduce his sentence or free him from the prison, promising to use his magic skills to help the country.