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Drug trafficker gets seven years

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Hai Sokban at the municipal court yesterday. KT/Pann Rachana

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday convicted and sentenced a 21-year-old man to seven years in prison for selling drugs in Dangkor district last year.

Presiding Judge Ros Samedy said Hai Sokban, 21, from Meanchey district’s Stung Meanchey I commune in Phnom Penh, was convicted of drug use and trafficking following his arrest in Dangkor district on September 26 last year.

“The court has decided to convict the accused, Hai Sokban, and sentence him to seven years in jail,” Judge Samedy said. “The court orders him to pay 12 million riels [about $3,000] to put into the state budget.”

Deputy prosecutor Soeu Longdi said that prior to his conviction, Mr Sokban was suspected of using and distributing drugs at night clubs and karaoke bars in the city.

He noted that at about 9pm on September 26 last year, Mr Sokban travelled on his motorbike to sell a package of crystal methamphetamine to an undercover police officer at a garbage area in Dangkor commune, in the outskirts of the city.

He added that Mr Sokban was arrested red-handed during the drug transaction.

“After his arrest, police confiscated a package of crystal methamphetamine weighing a total of 98.46 grams, one phone and one motorbike from him,” Mr Longdi said. “After the arrest, police also did a urine test, which came back positive for drug use.”

Mr Sokban denied to comment yesterday.

However, during his trial last month, Mr Sokban admitted committing the offence, saying that he was a drug user but not a drug trafficker. He added that the drugs seized from him belonged to an unidentified man.

Mr Sokban told the court that on the day of his arrest, he was hired by an unidentified man to carry a package of drugs to give to a client at a quiet place near the garbage area in Dangkor commune.

He added that the unidentified man promised in return to give him a small package of crystal meth for free. Mr Sokban noted that he has not received the free drugs because he was arrested.

“I was a drug user, not a drug trafficker,” Mr Sokban told the court at the time. “I ask the court to please drop my charge and release me.”

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