Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Saturday ordered the leader of a drugs ring into pre-trial detention after he was finally arrested after being sentenced to life in absentia in 2016 for trafficking nearly 55kg of drugs.
The anti-drug department’s deputy bureau chief In Song told The Post on Sunday that 53-year-old Dam Nha was detained on Friday in Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Keng Kang I commune after an arrest warrant was issued on September 20, 2016.
“Police arrested him and sent him to the investigating judge who then ordered him jailed at Prey Sar prison [on Saturday],” he said.
According to Investigating Judge Pich Vicheathor, Nha was sentenced in absentia on December 20, 2016 to life imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of 60 million riel ($15,000) for producing and trafficking nearly 55kg of drugs at three locations in Russey Keo district’s Russey Keo commune and Chamkarmon district’s Tuol Svay Prey and Tuol Tompoung I communes the previous year.
Nha, who was also wanted by international police agency Interpol, and four other accomplices were handed down guilty verdicts under Articles 39 and 40 of the Drug Control Law.
The verdict read: “The court hereby sentences Cambodian national Liv Se, 46; Chinese national Ly Yu, also known as Chai, 43; Chinese national Teng Yan Ping, 53 . . . to life imprisonment and orders each to pay a fine of 60 million riel for producing, possessing and trafficking drugs illegally.”
The fifth suspect, 24-year-old Phal Rany, was sentenced to five years in prison after cooperating with drugs police during the investigation.
She was also ordered to pay a fine of six million riel. All fines will be transferred to the state.
According to Judge Vicheathor, Nha had three houses, in Phnom Penh and Ratanakkiri and Stung Treng provinces, as well as 30ha of farmland and over 1,000sqm of land in Stung Treng. All were confiscated as evidence.
The court also ordered the confiscation of an undisclosed sum in six bank accounts under the names of Liv Se, Phal Rany and Dam Nha.
Officials from the Ministry of Interior’s anti-drug department said the 55kg drugs, which were trafficked in Phnom Penh and Stung Treng province in June 2015, had an estimated street value of $3 million.