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Hefty sentence: Ketamine bust lands duo 25 years

Hefty sentence: Ketamine bust lands duo 25 years

Two Vietnamese nationals were each sentenced to 25 years in prison for concealing nearly 40 kilograms of powdered ketamine in a Phnom Penh condo last year.

Presiding judge Top Chunheng said that defendants Vann Vay, who is already in prison on an unrelated drug charge, and Le Menglam, who is still at large and was tried in absentia, were also each fined 50 million riel (about $12,500).

“The court has issued a warrant for Le Menglam’s arrest, and is ordering [authorities] to bring him to serve his prison term,” he added.

Vay’s previous charge was for an attempt to mail over 12 kilos of pseudoephedrine to Australia hidden in figurines, Chunheng said.

Lieutenant Colonel Chhouk Kea said the ketamine was discovered when Vay placed a call from prison to a man whom he thought was a fellow trafficker – but was in fact an undercover officer – and offered him $3,000 to move the ketamine from his Toul Kork district condo.

Vay could not be reached for comment yesterday, but has denied having made the call from prison and has maintained that the drugs belonged to Menglam.

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