Eight Vietnamese nationals accused of drug production and trafficking were handed sentences of up to 15 years in jail yesterday by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, although police said the ringleader of the clandestine operation remained at large.
Two men and one woman were sentenced to 15 years in jail and fined 10 million riel (US$2,500) on charges of drug production and trafficking.
The group included Sok Dara, who taught the others how to cook methamphetamine while in prison, according to the verdict, was arrested on June 15, 2011, and is the husband of the fugitive ringleader “Van”.
Then 32-year-old Ngean Yangtong was arrested on July 10, 2011, after a long investigation involving undercover officers.
The trafficker then led the police to raid two houses and apprehend the other six ring members.
Two other men and three women, including a 16-year-old girl, were sentenced to six years and fined five to eight million riel (about $1,250 to $2,000) on the charge of drug trafficking.
Suos Sam Ath, the president of the Jury Council, identified the defendants as Sok Dara, 51, Den Sokchea, 19, Mi Ni, 21, Lam Fong, 45, Ngyeun Yangtong, 32, Ngyeun Tity, 22, Sok Kimmei, 26, and Din Kim Heng,16.
He said the defendants could refer to the Court of Appeal if they were not satisfied with the judgment.
Police confiscated about 123 grams of crystal methamphetamine during a raid on the drug traffickers.
To contact the reporter on this story: Lieng Sarith at email@example.com