Two people were sentenced to life in prison on Friday after they were found guilty of trafficking ten kilograms of drugs from Germany via a post office in Phnom Penh last year.
Judge Seng Rithy identified the two as 25-year-old Lai Kuan Yu, from Taiwan, and 24-year-old Lin Chin Chai, from China.
“Although the two had denied the allegations, they did not provide sufficient evidence to have their charges dropped,” Judge Rithy said. “Based on compelling evidence, the court has found them guilty. The court sentences them to life in prison.”
He said the two were arrested in July after officers from the Interior Ministry’s internal security police department worked with the Daun Penh district post office.
Judge Rithy said that on July 9, at about 10am, the Daun Penh post office received a 13.10 kilogram package from Germany, meant for Mr Lai who was living in Tuol Tumpong commune.
Upon closer inspection, the post office suspected drugs were hidden within the package and contacted police, who in turn contacted the internal security department.
The department discovered ten kilograms of substances to make ecstasy hidden within the box.
Police and the post office then prepared a sting operation to apprehend Mr Lai and told him to pick up his package at the post office the next day.
On the morning of July 10, Mr Lin arrived to pick up Mr Lai’s package at the post office.
“Lin Chin Chai was arrested after he tried to pick up drugs from Germany at the post office,” Judge Rithy said. “Based on his confession, police then moved on Lai Kuan Yu, owner of the package, at his rented home in Tuol Tumpong commune.”
During the trial in December, Mr Lai and Mr Lin denied the allegations.
Mr Lin told the court that he was told to pick up a package of coffee filters by Mr Lai from the post office.
“After I was arrested, police showed the drugs and said I transported them from Germany,” he said. “I was very surprised because I did not know, nor was I involved in what they accused me of. I was innocent. Please drop the charge and release me.”
Mr Lai told the court a friend visiting from China had borrowed a copy of his passport and home address in order to order coffee filters from another friend in Germany. He said his name was listed by Mr Niva to make shipment easier to Phnom Penh.
Mr Lai said Mr Niva then disappeared after he was arrested by police.
“I don’t know anything about this case,” he said. “I was not the owner of the drugs. Please find truth and justice for me.”