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Mother with HIV, four others face jail over drug charges

Mother with HIV, four others face jail over drug charges

Phnom Penh Municipal Court tried five people, including one HIV positive mother of seven, in two separate drug trafficking cases yesterday.

Refuse collector Hean Chhoeun, 46, his wife, Nhek Rin, 46, who has HIV, and Nhem Chamrong, 20, a female garment worker, were the suspects in one case, and Sy Ravy, 24, and her mother Lon Saing Heak, 43, were charged in the other.

The mother and daughter were arrested on February 19 in Chom Chao commune, in Dangkor district. Police seized five packages of methamphetamine pills from them, presiding judge Kor Vandy said.

He said mother-of-seven Nhek Rin was arrested on March 4 while she was pulling a trash collection cart in which 15 small packages of methamphetamine pills were hidden, in Toul Kok district’s Boeng Kak I commune. Her husband was arrested later that day at his home in Phnom Penh Thmey commune, Sen Sok district.

Please reduce my sentence so that I can take care for my  children

Police confiscated nine packages of methamphetamine pills from his house. Kor Vandy added that Nhem Chamrong was arrested on March 5 after being implicated by his wife.
Nhek Rin said she was selling drugs to make money to support her family.

“I am a person living with HIV and have seven children,” Nhek Rin told the court. “I know about my mistake now. I would like to ask the court to please reduce my sentence so that I will be able to look after my seven children.”

Deputy prosecutor Heang Sopheak, however, said the accused should be punished according to the law.

There was enough evidence the suspects had committed the crimes, he said. “Their activities deeply affected social safety, social stability, public order and people’s health,” Heang Sopheak said.

The verdict in both cases will be handed down by the court on October 7.

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