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Drug trafficking: Court finds quintet guilty of meth deal

Four Vietnamese nationals and a Cambodian who were arrested in a drug sting last year and accused of trafficking 169 grams of methamphetamine were convicted yesterday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Presiding judge Kor Vandy sentenced Vietnamese nationals Chov Sambo and Nguyen Thi La to seven-year jail terms and fined both of them US$2,750.

Their compatriots Trang Thi Muey and Bou Daing Yung were sentenced to four years and three and a half years respectively, and fined $1,250 and $2,750, while Cambodian Kim Nak was handed a five-year jail term.  

All five men were arrested by the Ministry of Interior’s anti-drug police in September in the capital after a police officer posed as a buyer and asked Kim Nak to purchase methamphetamine at an inflated price.

Kim Nak then allegedly contacted the Vietnamese nationals, who secured the drugs.

All five accused said they would file appeals.

Kim Nak said he was not a drug trafficker, but had been duped by the police officer, who disguised herself as a buyer.

“She telephoned me and wanted to buy drugs. She promised she would give me $500 per gram of drugs. To make money to support my family, I decided to find the drug sellers for her,” he said yesterday.

Khieu Saman, director of the anti-drug department at the Ministry of Interior, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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