Lee Jen Ton (l) and Tsen Chi Shen enter the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post
Two Taiwanese men were sentenced yesterday to 27 years in jail and fined 80 million riel (US$20,000) for smuggling heroin out of Cambodia.
Kor Vandy, presiding judge at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said Tsen Chi Shen and Lee Jen Ton had been arrested after a package containing 347 grams of the powder was intercepted in August last year.
Tsen told the court in April he had entered Cambodia a year earlier as a door and window seller, but had turned to smuggling drugs after falling into gambling-related debt.
“I sent packs of drugs to Taiwan three times, and each time I received commission of $1,000,” he said, adding that he sent the heroin via the Veng Tai Veng company, which was sub-sent through Cambodia Express.
Lee, however, continued to protest his innocence.
He admitted having stayed in the same Phnom Penh guesthouse as Tsen, but said he had not been aware Tsen had been packing and sending the powder to Taiwan.
Yeng Bunna, chief of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department, said the drug powder had been discovered after Veng Thai Veng reported a suspicious package.
Police arrested Lee before raiding a room at the guesthouse.
Tsen had been arrested in October, police said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Lieng Sarith at firstname.lastname@example.org