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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trial begins for nine nabbed in June bust

Trial begins for nine nabbed in June bust

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Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday tried nine people, including a Swedish man and a Vietnamese woman, on drug production and trafficking charges stemming from a pair of raids last year in Phnom Penh.

Mai Vireak/Phnom Penh Post
Men charged with drug trafficking enter Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Presiding judge Sin Visal said that Swede Ekenlund Nickie Christopher Cookie, 30, an IT professional, and Vietnamese Chan Thi Nihan, a 21-year-old beer girl, were charged with producing and trafficking drugs, while Meas Sophea, 30; Som Borin, 25; Duch Chhorvon, 25; Muth Pharithy, 32; Heng Sophy, 31, and Yos Kunthy, 28; were charged with drug trafficking. A ninth person, Keo Rithy, was charged only with usage.

The latter seven were arrested on the afternoon on June 20 during a raid in Daun Penh district.

During the raid, anti-drug police from the Ministry of Interior seized a total of 261.7 grams of methamphetamines.

After questioning the seven suspects, police extended their net that same day, staging a 7pm raid at the Russey Keo district rental house of Ekenlund Nickie Christopher Cookie and Chan Thy Nihan.

There they seized 241.8 grams of marijuana resin, 222.4 grams of dried marijuana, 209.6 grams of methamphetamines, 297.7 grams of cocaine, 95.8 grams of ecstasy tablets as well as chemical liquids used in drug production.   

Meas Sophea said that he was not a drug dealer, adding that he was actually working for the anti-drug police looking for drug traffickers in Cambodia.

“I was only the agent of anti-drug police, who sent me to work with groups of drug dealers. I was not a drug trafficker,” he said, going so far as to say he had arranged the June 20 crackdown.

Som Borin, meanwhile, said he was arrested while waiting for a taxi near Chroy Changvar bridge.

“I used to buy drugs for my own use, but I was not a drug dealer,” he said.

Phnom Penh deputy prosecutor Hor Lina said the state has more than enough evidence to obtain a guilty verdict.

The trial will continue on February 22.

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