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Laotian workers face drug charges

Laotian workers face drug charges

PREAH Vihear provinicial court has charged two Laotian men with drug-smuggling after they were found in possession of more than 2,000 methamphetamine pills last week, officials said yesterday.

Lat Munty Khan, 32, and Hang Phuran, age unknown, were arrested on Friday in Preah Vihear’s Kampong Sraloa commune on suspicion of trafficking drugs from Laos to Cambodia. Charges were filed against them on Sunday. Provincial police chief Mao Pov said yesterday that police seized 2,198 pills from the men, who he said are construction workers from Champasak province in Laos.

“They have confessed to the crime of drug-smuggling during our investigations, but said they only did it once,” he said.

Keo Sim, chief prosecutor at the court, said yesterday that the two men face hefty sentences if found guilty.

“We suspect they may have been involved in drug-trafficking more than this one time,” he said. The pair have been remanded in custody pending investigation, he added.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said yesterday that the men would not be extradited because their alleged crime was committed in Cambodia.

“According to Cambodian legislation, the two Laotian men will be placed in Cambodian prisons until their trial finds them guilty or not guilty,” Koy Kuong said.