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Alleged drug dealers on trial

Two African men accused of drug trafficking are seen at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Six people accused of smuggling about 340 kilograms of methamphetamines from Vietnam to Phnom Penh faced court yesterday.

Suos Sam Ath, a presiding judge for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said 23-year-old Guinean Bah Mamadou, 23; Nigerian men Obieze Keneth Uche, 35, Nabe Alhassane, 34, and Emeka Obi, 38; 34-year-old James Kamara, 34, from Sierra Leone; and Cambodian woman Hou Vanna, 31, were charged with drug trafficking.

They had been arrested on July 24 after a raid on a rental house in Street 218, Teuk La’ak III commune, in the capital’s Tuol Kork district, he said.

“James Kamara and [his girlfriend] Hou Vanna were the main cause of this drug-dealing case because the confiscated drugs were found in their house,” Suos Sam Ath said.

“The court will not pardon them if it is found they had committed the drug dealing but not confessed or corrected their mistakes.”

A police official from the Ministry of Interior, who did not want to be named, said police had seized a drug package consisting of the methamphetamines, three mobile phones and drug paraphernalia.

James Kamara yesterday denied having trafficked drugs.

“I was not aware there were drugs hidden in my house. I was only aware of it when I was handcuffed by police and they showed it to me,” he said.

“I thought the drugs might have been brought by police and planted to accuse and arrest me.”

The trial will continue on January 16.



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