Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday began hearing the drug-trafficking case of six Vietnamese nationals and five Cambodians arrested last May – allegedly with thousands of litres of drug-producing chemicals – but postponed the second half of the trial because judges had not read all of the case documents.
Presiding judge Kim Dany said the 11 suspects had been arrested in raids across Phnom Penh and charged with producing drugs and chemical elements, storing drugs and chemical elements, and transporting drugs and chemical elements, but delayed the termination of proceedings by nearly a month to give judges time to finish reading the case file.
“This was a big and complex case and trial for our judges,” she said. “Because . . . now we have not completely studied and read this case, the court decided to delay the hearing from 29 April to 21 May 2013.”
Brigadier General Pen Rath, deputy chief of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, said the 11 suspects were arrested in six raids on drug-producing sites across four districts – raids that netted 127 barrels of safrole oil, totalling more than 3,000 litres, as well as powdered methamphetamine.
“They planned to export this amount of safrole from Cambodia to Vietnam, and from Vietnam to China, and from China to Canada,” he said.