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Court hears convicted oil trafficker

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Chan Nguy was convicted and sent to prison yesterday. Kim Sarom

Court hears convicted oil trafficker

A man serving a life sentence for his role in trafficking 1,100 litres of safrole oil – an ingredient used in the production of methamphetamine MDMA – told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that he and his assistant, Yaing Tran, did not know the contents of the truck they were driving in 2011.

Chan Nguy said Chan Thy – the owner of the truck in question, who was also convicted – asked him on the morning of November 29, 2011, to drive it to Phnom Penh from Pursat province.

Nguy and Tran were stopped and detained by traffic police at Kampong Chhnang province’s Teuk La’ak village after the discovery.

The Kampong Chhnang provincial court initially sentenced Nguy to life in prison, while Tran and Thy were each handed 30-year sentences.

The Appeal Court upheld their sentence in March 2015, so the men took their case to the Supreme Court, which also upheld the verdict in November 2016.

However, Nguy now claims to have new evidence in the case and was given a second hearing by the Supreme Court.

“The police stopped my truck for inspection. After that, we [Nguy and his assistant] were arrested. If we were guilty as accused, we would have run away,” Nguy told the judge.

Presiding Judge Soeng Panhavuth said a verdict will be issued on January 23.

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