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Airport drugs bust nets result

Airport drugs bust nets result

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Kor Bopha, back left, covers her face with her arm as Sin Sophal and Nouv Sophy walk directly in front of her.

FIVE international drugs traffickers were each sentenced to between 27 and 30 years in prison yesterday, after a woman was discovered with 200 pills inside her stomach at Phnom Penh International Airport last October.

Australian-Cambodian Kor Bopha, 31, was stopped at the airport while trying to take a flight to Australia. During a body scan, it was discovered she was carrying 73.8 grammes of amphetamines crammed inside condoms within her stomach.

Information gathered during interviews led authorities to arrest Sin Sophal, 37, and Nouv Sophy, 46, in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district in a raid that netted 20 packets of lubricants, drugs paraphernalia and two kilogrammes of white powder – which was 70 percent heroin. Suspected accomplices Loeuk Vanny, 35, a Vietnamese national, and Bun Sarorn, 39, escaped.

At Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, presiding judge Kor Bopha yesterday sentenced Kor Bopha and Nouv Sophy to 27 years in jail and fined them each 80 million riel (about US$20,000) for international drug trafficking.

Alleged mastermind Sin Sophal received 30 years and an 80 million riel fine along with Loeuk Vanny and Bun Sarorn, who were sentenced in absentia.

“After the court’s highest consideration, it has been found that they are guilty,” the judge said.

Deputy prosecutor Chea Meth said that Kor Bopha had confessed to bringing drugs through the airport two times before her arrest last year, taking 100 yama pills to Australia in May 2009 and 150 pills in July 2009. She was caught in October with her largest consignment yet.

The court has asked authorities to take measures to arrest Loeuk Vanny and Bun Sarorn and bring them to serve their prison terms. Neither the guilty parties or their lawyers were available for comment yesterday.

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