Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court hands down two life sentences for drugs

Court hands down two life sentences for drugs

Court hands down two life sentences for drugs

Phnom Penh Municipal Court handed down life sentences to two Vietnamese nationals described as major drug traffickers, and gave a third 30 years in prison yesterday.

Keo Saroeum, 52, a former military officer of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and his accomplice Bun Tha, 48, were both found guilty of drug producing and trafficking and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Saroeum’s wife, Pov Bopha, 41, was sentenced to 30 years. Each of the three was also fined 60 million riel ($15,000).

According to Judge Keo Mony, the trio was arrested by anti-drug police in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district in December 2012.

The husband and wife were major drug traffickers, said Major General Khieu Saman, deputy director of the anti-drug police department. “Our police spent many months following and investigating them,” he added.

After the arrest, police seized nearly 6.5 kilograms of drugs ready for sale – including crystal methamphetamines and heroin – as well as around 75 kilograms of chemicals used to manufacture drugs, drug production equipment and weapons, including AK-47 assault rifles, pistols and machine guns.

The accused traffickers and their defence lawyers could not be reached for comment yesterday, but a court clerk who asked not to be named told the Post that the husband and wife have already appealed the verdict.

Life sentences are rare in Cambodia, and this is the first this year, though four Thai women were given life sentences last summer for smuggling more than eight kilograms of cocaine.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’