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Fleeing tourist lands 28-year jail sentence

Fleeing tourist lands 28-year jail sentence

A tourist from Sierra Leone, who has so far evaded the law, was sentenced in absentia to 28 years in prison yesterday after his name was found on five envelopes containing heroin that were left at Phnom Penh’s main post office.

Kapo Alfred, aged 30, was also fined 70 million riel (around US$17,500) after being found guilty at Phnom Penh Municipal Court of international drug trafficking.

In March this year, 226 grams of heroin were found inside five envelopes which had been deposited at the Daun Penh post office’s poste restante counter.

Chief of Administration of the post office, Chap Socheat, said yesterday that he had opened the envelopes – which were all addressed to people in New South Wales, Australia – and found the drugs inside.

Kapo Alfred’s name was marked as the sender.

He has never been caught by police but Colonel Math Phalla, chief of the internal security department police at the Ministry of Interior,  said at a previous hearing that they had reported the offence to Interpol.

Presiding judge Duch Kimsorn said yesterday that: “It is ordered that the competent authorities seek his arrest and bring him to serve his term of jail time.”

But a lawyer acting on Alfred’s behalf, Bun Kong, denied that his client had committed the crimes and said that the sentence was an injustice. “I think that the verdict is not justice for him because there is no real proof or evidence to express he was the owner of these envelopes,” he said.

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