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Siblings tried over sale of crystal meth in capital

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
A woman and her younger brother are on trial over drug sales. KT/Pann Rachana

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a woman and her younger brother who allegedly sold a package of crystal meth worth about $25 to an undercover police officer in Sen Sok district in 2017.

Judge Seng Leang identified the accused as Suon Thavy, 38, and Suon Savuth, 23, both toy vendors living in Russey Keo district’s Svay Pak commune.

He said both were charged with drug trafficking and each faces up to three years in jail and up to $1,000 in fines if convicted.

Judge Leang noted that the accused were arrested on October 26, 2017 during the sting in Sen Sok district and police seized eight small packages of crystal meth from them.

Lieutenant Colonel Suos Savuth, the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Drug Trafficking Department deputy chief, yesterday told the court that at about 9pm on October 26, the undercover officer phoned Ms Thavy, a suspected drug distributor, and ordered some crystal meth from her.

He noted that after agreeing to sell the drugs for about $25, both accused travelled by motorbike to deliver the crystal meth to the officer in front of the Samrong Andeth Pagoda in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune.

Lt Col Savuth said that while Ms Thavy and Mr Vuthy were selling the drugs to the undercover officer, the department’s anti-drug police officers moved in and arrested them.

“They were arrested red-handed while they were selling drugs to our undercover police officer,” he told the court.

Lt Col Savuth added that after their arrests, police seized eight small packages of crystal methamphetamine weighing 0.88 gram, a drug scale, three phones and a motorbike from them.

During yesterday’s trial, both accused denied the allegations, saying that police planted the drugs on them and arrested them.

They told the court that during their arrests, besides seizing their three luxury phones and the motorbike, police also looted some jewellery and about $55 from them.

When the judge asked Lt Col Savuth to address the accusation, he said police did not take anything else from the accused besides the items seized.

However, Ms Thavy and Mr Vuthy urged the court to find justice for them and release them from jail.

Ms Thavy told the court that she and her younger brother were victims of false arrest and they had never been involved in drug trafficking.

She said that on the night of their arrests, she and her brother traveled by motorbike from her rental house in Russey Keo district’s Svay Pak commune to buy clothes at a night market in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune.

Ms Thavy added that when they arrived at a quiet place in front of Samrong Andeth Pagoda, police stopped them, checked them and later arrested them after accusing them of being drug traffickers.

“I deny the allegation because I did not know of or commit any crime as alleged by the police and court,” she told the court. “I would like to ask the court to find truth and justice for me and my younger brother and release us from prison.”

“I would also like to ask the court to return my motorbike, phones, the jewellery seized and the money that was looted,” Ms Thavy added.

A verdict is due June 25.

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