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Court tries two over drug trafficking

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Lor Sokunthear leaves the municipal court following his hearing KT/Pann Rachana

Phnom Penh Municipal Court today tried a Cambodian farmer and a Laotian national accused of transporting more than two kilogrammes of crystal meth from Stung Treng province for sale in the capital last year.

Presiding Judge Ros Piseth identified the accused as farmer Lor Sokunthear, 40, from the province’s Thalaborivat district; and Singthin Outhang, 28, from Vientiane.

He noted that both were charged with drug trafficking under article 40 of the Cambodian Law on Control of Drugs. If convicted, they each face a life sentence.

Judge Piseth said that at about 11pm on September 20 last year, the two accused allegedly brought the drugs from Stung Treng province and sold it to an undercover police officer who posed as a drug dealer and ordered two kilogrammes of crystal meth to be delivered to the capital’s Russey Keo district.

He noted that during the transaction, anti-drug trafficking police from the Ministry of Interior moved in and arrested both accused.

“They were arrested red-handed after they sold drugs to the undercover police officer who posed as a drug dealer,” Judge Piseth said.

He added that after the arrests, police seized two big packages of crystal meth weighing 2,000 grammes and two phones from them.

During yesterday’s hearing, Sokunthear and Outhang admitted committing the offence and said they were hired to transport the drugs by a Laotian man named “Ny” who is at large.

They told the court that two days before their arrests, they traveled by taxi to meet Ny in Vientiane and he hired them to deliver the drugs to a dealer in Phnom Penh.

Both accused told the court that Ny had promised to pay them $30,000 each after they delivered the drugs.

Outhang told the court that he knew possessing or transporting drugs was illegal.

He noted that he decided to accept the job because Ny promised to pay him well.

“I acknowledge that on the day of my arrest I brought the drugs from Vientiane to sell to an unidentified man in Phnom Penh,” Outhang told the court. “But I was not the owner of the drugs seized and only worked for pay.”

“I would like to ask the court to give me a lighter sentence,” he added.

A verdict is due January 10.

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