Traffickers Given Life Sentences

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Some of the marijuana smuggled into Cambodia from Laos. Supplied

Four drug traffickers were convicted and sentenced to life in prison by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday over the transportation of nearly $7 million worth of marijuana from Laos to Phnom Penh in 2015.
Presiding judge Y Thavareak said Veth Saing, 48, Suon Pheakdey, 33, and Som Dara, 36, were all charged with drug possession, production and trafficking under articles 39 and 40 of the Drug Control Law.
Thai national Sara Khun Abdulyadeth, 40, was convicted on the same charges in absentia and was also given a life sentence.
“The court issues a warrant for the arrest of Sara Khun Abdulyadeth and orders his arrest so that he can serve the term of his punishment in prison,” the judge said.
Mr. Saing, Mr. Pheakdey and Mr. Dara were arrested in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Sangke commune on August 20, 2015, after transporting 1.5 kilograms of marijuana by car from Stung Treng province.
Lieutenant General Khieu Saman, chief of the anti-drug department within the Interior Ministry, said the four men were the ringleaders of a drug operation running throughout Cambodia.
They spent years smuggling drugs from Laos through Stung Treng province to Phnom Penh, where it was then processed and packaged so it could be distributed to provinces across the country, he said.
“Anti-drug police spent months searching for them and investigating their identities and hiding places in Cambodia before we were able to crack down and arrest them,” Lt. Gen. Saman told Khmer Times.
During the raid on their hideout in Phnom Penh, police found a bevy of drug-making materials, including scales and pill-making machines, but were unable to catch Mr. Sara, who subsequently fled back to Thailand.
During their trial, the three Cambodian men said the drugs and paraphernalia belonged to Mr. Sara, who hired them to drive the packages of marijuana from Stung Treng province to Phnom Penh.

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