Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Appeal Court upholds drug traffickers’ prison sentences

Appeal Court upholds drug traffickers’ prison sentences

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Packages of methamphetamine and heroin, worth nearly $3 million, are exhibited at a police station in June 2015. Photo supplied

Appeal Court upholds drug traffickers’ prison sentences

The Appeal Court on Monday upheld guilty verdicts against four people who were sentenced to between 20 and 30 years in prison for drug trafficking in the capital.

Reading out the verdicts in absentia, Judge Yun Narong said: “In the drug trafficking case involving four convicts, the Appeal Court decides to uphold the sentence.”

According to court records, Chhieng Chumnoul, 44; his wife Bou Eav Peng, 40, a Thai national and the owner of Malis Angkor Restaurant in Siem Reap province; Pheng Phal, 45; and El Vanrany, 37; were arrested in Chamkarmon district’s Tumnub Toek commune on February 27, 2012 for dealing in one kilogram of drugs.

The Interior Ministry’s anti-drug authority intercepted the trafficking in both Tumnub Toek and Russey Keo district’s Tuol Sangke commune, arresting four people and seizing 373.2 grams of Yama, 296.4 grams of methamphetamine, 1113.2 grams of WY and two cars.

On January 25, 2013, the Phnom Penh municipal court sentenced Chhieng Chumnoul to 30 years in prison and imposed a fine of 60 million riel ($15,000); his wife Bou Eav Pheng to 20 years and a fine of 40 million riel ($10,000); Pheng Phal and El Vanrany to 20 years and a fine of 40 million riel ($10,000) each under article 32, 40 and 44 of the anti-drug laws.

At the Appeal Court, Pheng Phal said he was a car mechanic and lived with his uncle Chhieng Chumnoul. Before his arrest, he received a phone call from a man known as Barang asking him to bring a car for a check.

At the time, Phal passed the car key to Barang who returned it along with a package containing $20,000.

“When police arrested and frisked me, they found nothing. When they took me to the Interior Ministry and detained me for two days, they showed a package and told me it was a drug package.

“Then they told me to thumbprint a white paper and said if I complied, they would allow me to go back home, so I agreed to do just that,” Phal said.

The other three convicts said they had not committed any crimes as charged, pleading with the Appeal Court to release them.

Defence lawyer Heng Chanvuth said there were many suspicions in the case. Police, he added, had no concrete evidence and just lured his clients to offer their thumbprints with the promise of a release.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42