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Drug dealer couple ask for reduced sentences

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The accused was brought to the Supreme Court on Monday. Heng Chivoan

Drug dealer couple ask for reduced sentences

A husband and wife pair of convicted drug dealers appeared before the Supreme Court on Monday seeking to lower their sentences after a lower court ordered one to be imprisoned for 30 years and the other for 20.

The couple was arrested for having 265.8g of narcotics after a police raid in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district on December 12, 2011.

The accused admitted they sold drugs to people near Naga World Casino in Tonle Bassac, court records read by Judge Pon Khem said on Monday.

Malaysian national Tan Thean Long, 31, told authorities when he was arrested that he had dealt drugs for six to seven months.

His wife, Thean Long, a Vietnamese national, said she was unaware of her husband’s activities despite having lived together for a year.

Tan was convicted of trafficking narcotics under Article 40 of the Law on Control of Drugs when the verdict was handed down on March 26, 2013.

He was originally ordered to pay a fine of 60 million riel ($14,700) and sentenced to 30 years in prison but his sentence was reduced by the Appeal Court to 25 years.

Thean was sentenced to 20 years and ordered to pay a fine of 40 million riel ($9,800) for conspiring to traffic narcotics.

“I admit my guilt, but ask the court to reduce my sentence. I have elderly parents and I am a breadwinner,” Tan told the court in Khmer.

Theang told the Supreme Court: “I also ask the court to reduce my sentence because I must serve another 12-year sentence until it’s complete. This 12-year sentence is a long time.”

However, prosecutor Veng Bunthoeun said: “The prosecution is not satisfied because the Appeal Court reduced the 30-year sentence of the accused to 25 years and it wishes to increase it.”

Defence lawyer Kim Ngec Lor requested the Supreme Court to reduce Thean’s sentence and allow a further hearing at the Appeal Court.

“Please reduce Thean Long’s sentence. Please transfer the case of the woman to the Appeal Court to be re-heard. She is just a sex worker,” he argued.

Judge Khem Pon said the verdict would be announced on September 16.

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