Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday convicted a Chinese national and sentenced him to life in jail for transporting more than 16 kilograms of ecstasy and heroin from Germany to Cambodia via the post last year.
Presiding Judge Pich Vicheathor said Liu Chunwa, 25, was charged with drug transport and trafficking after he was arrested in the capital last year.
“The court has decided to convict him and sentence him to life in jail,” Judge Vicheathor said. “The court orders him to pay 60 million riels [about $15,000] to put into the state budget.”
Judge Vicheathor said that Mr Liu was arrested on July 12 by the Internal Security Police Department of the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with officers at Daun Penh District Post Office and the court prosecutor.
He added that after his arrest, police seized more than 16 kilograms of ecstasy and heroin from him.
Colonel Sath Suthy, deputy chief of the Internal Security Police Department at the ministry, said that at about 10am on July 10 last year, police officers stationed at Daun Penh Post Office seized a suspicious large box of shipment weighing over 16 kilograms which was sent from Germany to Cambodia.
Col Suthy noted the contact address for the package was listed as Mr Liu, who also enclosed his contact number and home address in Chamkar Mon district.
He added that after inspecting the box, officers found drugs inside, which they immediately reported to officers of the Internal Security Department at the Ministry of Interior, who were based at the post office, to intervene.
Col Suthy said police seized over 16 kilograms of ecstasy and heroin, which led to authorities planning the arrest of the suspected owner.
Col Suthy said that at about 3pm on July 12, Mr Liu travelled in a tuk-tuk to retrieve the package from the post office, where he was immediately arrested by police.
“He was arrested with the evidence in hand after he had come to retrieve the package containing drugs from our police forces at the post office,” Col Suthy said. “After his arrest, he was soon sent to the Internal Security Police Department at the Ministry of Interior for questioning and further investigation.”
Mr Liu could not be contacted for comment.
However, during his trial on May 25, Mr Liu denied the allegations, saying that the drugs seized did not belong to him but his Chinese friend named Apo.
Mr Liu told the court that on the day of his arrest, Mr Apo asked him to pick up his box of coffee, which had been sent by his friend from Germany via the post.
Mr Liu said that when he arrived at the post office to retrieve the box, he was immediately arrested by police officers wearing civilian clothes.
“Police arrested me and accused me of being a trafficker,” he told the court. “After arresting me, they showed the seized drugs to me and accused me of transporting the drugs from Germany to Cambodia.”
“When I saw the drugs, I was very surprised because I did not know about it nor was involved with it,” he added.