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Court upholds term for cocaine convict

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The convicts arrive at the Supreme Court. Supplied

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the conviction of a Filipino convicted to 30 years in prison for trafficking nearly one kilogram of cocaine from Argentina to Cambodia in 2009.

Judge Kem Sothavy identified the suspect as Luyo Romeo Plaza, 43.

He was earlier convicted for drug possession and trafficking alongside a Thai woman, Chon Thong Treerat, 38.

“The Supreme Court decided to uphold the Appeal Court judgement dated December 24, 2015,” she said.

Ms Chon was arrested in June 2009 at Phnom Penh International Airport after flying from Argentina to Cambodia.

“An X-ray security machine showed she had swallowed a total of 78 condoms containing nearly one kilogram of cocaine,” the judge said.   

Information given by Ms Chon led to the arrest of Mr Plaza, who had arranged to meet her in Poipet city on the Cambodia-Thai border, to take the drugs to Thailand.   

The two suspects were given 30-year sentences for the crime in April 2010. They both appealed the judgement in the Appeal Court, but were rejected.

Mr Plaza then decided to take his case to the Supreme Court.

Mr Plaza’s defence lawyer could not be reached for comment yesterday.

During his trial last week, the suspect denied the allegations.

“I did not commit drug trafficking but I have been convicted to 30 years in prison,” he told the court.

“I have lost my family. If I was a drug trafficker, I would not argue with the judgement, but I am innocent.”   

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