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Expat drug traffickers get 25-year sentences

An Indian and a Lao man were handed down 25-year prison sentences for trafficking just under one kilogram of methamphetamines in August last year.

Phnom Penh Municipal court presiding judge Sin Visal said the Lao, Den Kaseth Pataphy, 48, and the Indian, Bhagat Shiv Dayal, nicknamed Sunny, 28, were also fined 60 million riel [US$15,000] for the drug trafficking in the capital’s Russei Keo district.

During the verdict announcement, Pataphy blamed Sunny, who in turn blamed a third man and his female accomplice for setting the pair up.

“Phataphy had no involvement in this drug trafficking,” Sunny told the court, protesting both his, and his co-accused’s, innocence.

Heap Darat, the Ministry of Interior anti-drug police officer who led the crackdown, had used undercover police officers, posing as drug dealers, to trap Sunny and Pataphy. The undercover cops were allegedly the “accomplices” of the two blamed.

The men were arrested last August and have been remanded in pre-trial detention since.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lieng Sarith at sarith.lieng@phnompenhpost.com

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