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Ex-police official jailed for 29 years

Ex-police official jailed for 29 years

5 Korng Sovannara

A former police major was yesterday convicted, sentenced to 29 years in prison and fined 80 million riel ($20,000) for transporting some 30 tonnes of precursor chemicals for methamphetamine production between June and July last year.

Presiding judge Chaing Sinath said former anti-economic crimes police officer Korng  Sovannara, 46, had been found guilty under article 40 of the Anti-Drug Law.

“The accused person has the right to appeal if he does not accept this court’s decision,” she said.

Colonel San Sothy, chief of the Anti-Drug and Money Laundering police office at the Interior Ministry, said police officers had raided Sovannara’s rented warehouse in Kampong Speu’s Phnom Sruoch district last July and found the cache of chemicals.

Sothy said the chemicals – which were addressed to Sovannara – had been smuggled into the country under the guise of “soy oil”.

Sovannara and his defence lawyer could not be reached for comment yesterday, but during his previous hearing earlier this month, Sovannara denied that the drugs belonged to him. He claimed he was only facilitating transport of the chemicals for a Canadian-Vietnamese national named “Nguven Chin Pham”.

The man, who is also known as “Sem”, is still at large.

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