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Pair deny trafficking charge

Two foreign men arrested in a police sting that netted 936 grams of amphetamines last year denied their charges and pled not guilty at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Presiding Judge Sin Visal said that a 28-year-old Indian national Bhagat Shiv Dayal, or “Sunny”, and a 48-year-old Vietnamese-Laotian national, Den Kaseth Pataphy, were arrested on August 19, 2011, in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district.

The pair were detained nine days later and have remained in pretrial detention for one year.

During the hearing, Pataphy denied the charges and said the drugs were owned by Sunny. Sunny testified that he received a backpack from a Myanmar national, Seang Dy, and was asked to bring it to another person named Sopheap in Phnom Penh. Neither person was positively identified by police.

“The drugs involved were owned by Seang Dy and Sopheap. I request that the court bring justice and pardon me,” said Sunny.

The pair was arrested in a sting last year, said Ministry of Interior anti-drug officer Heab Darath. Sunny was arrested by a police spy at Chrang Chamres commune which later led to the arrest of Pataphy.

“Sunny said that he was the middleman and then asked us to contact Pataphy, who he said owned the drugs,” said Darath.

Defender Tep Monicheat said that the pair was innocent, and were simply carrying a package for someone else.

Judge Visal said the verdict will be read on September 6.

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

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