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Heavy convictions for drug trafficking

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday handed down guilty verdicts to two Ghanaian men, a Philippine woman and a Cambodian woman for their involvement in smuggling more than 2.5 kilograms of cocaine into the country from Brazil.

Presiding judge Heng Kesaro sentenced Philippine national Macoy Mavill Villamor, 41, to life in prison, and handed down sentences of 30 years and 27 years, respectively, to Ghanaian nationals Michael Sunshine, 31, and Emmanuel Thankgod, 33. Cambodian Meng Sinoun, 30, was given 22 years.

In addition, “the court fines them 40 million riel [about $10,000] each,” Kesaro said.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Chan Chheng, deputy chief of the Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Drug Trafficking Unit, Villamor was arrested at Phnom Penh International Airport on February 12 with 2,513 grams of cocaine in her luggage.

The other three were planning to receive the drugs, and were arrested based on answers given by Villamor during interrogation, he added.

Though the four defendants declined to comment yesterday, their defence lawyer, Pheng Heng, said the court’s decision was unfair, and an appeal was in the works.

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