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Restaurant owners are denied bail

Two owners of a restaurant in Siem Reap province – and two of their accomplices – were denied bail in a Phnom Penh Municipal Appeal Court hearing yesterday after being convicted of trafficking drugs between Laos and Cambodia earlier this year.

Chheang Chumnol, 44, owner of Malis Angkor restaurant in Siem Reap province, was sentenced to 30 years in prison and fined 60 million riel ($15,000).

His wife and co-owner of the restaurant, Bou Avtheng, 40, was given the relatively lighter sentence of 20 years – and the somewhat lower fine of 40 million riel ($10,000) fine.

Their two accomplices, Pheng Phal, 45, and El Vannrany, 37, were also sentenced to 20 years in prison and a 40 million riel ($10,000) fine.

Eam Sam Art, defence lawyer for the restaurant owners, said his clients offered to put up bail money, promised not to commit any crimes while temporarily out of detention, and to return to court as scheduled.

Presiding Judge Pak Chansambo denied all the bail requests.

“The court does not allow the accused to stay out of detention and continues to keep them in prison,” Chansambo said.

The foursome is being detained in Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh.

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