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Couple in court over prison drug smuggling

Couple in court over prison drug smuggling

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard the case against a Taiwanese couple charged with attempting to smuggle more that 300 grams of heroin in a cake box and milk carton to a convict at Prey Sar prison last year.

Choeung Leang Y, 34, and his wife Chou Ya Chhoeung, 24, were arrested at the prison in December last year after visiting a Taiwanese prisoner. Police allege the couple tried to smuggle 357 grams of heroin into the prison.

The couple say they were delivering the packages at the request of two Taiwanese compatriots. The two supposed ringleaders, known only as Liv and Fong, remain at large.

Police say that the pair received NT$50,000 (US$1,561) for the exchange and claimed a NT$1,500 commission.
But Ya Chhoeung told the court the two were unaware of what they were delivering.

“I really didn’t know there were drugs in the cake box, and I didn’t receive $1,500 from the two men like the police said,” she said. Choeung Lean Y also denied the allegations against him.

But court prosecutor Heang Sopheak branded the pair “liars”, and said they were guilty based on the commission they received.

If found guilty, each would face between 10 and 20 years in prison.

The hearing followed the court’s sentencing of two Cambodian men to 18 years in prison on Tuesday, after it found them guilty of trafficking in methamphetamine. Presiding judge Kor Vandy said the harsh sentence was stemmed from the damage the drug could cause to Cambodian society.

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