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

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and