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Trafficker gets 30 years

Thai national Bucha Preedaporn walks into Phnom Penh Municipal Court
Thai national Bucha Preedaporn walks into Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday. She was later sentenced to 30 years in prison for smuggling about 12kg of cocaine into Cambodia. HONG MENEA

Trafficker gets 30 years

A Thai woman was sentenced to 30 years in prison and fined 50 million riel ($12,500) yesterday for smuggling about 13 kilograms of cocaine from Brazil to Cambodia last year.

Bucha Preedaporn, 36, wept and clutched her baby daughter – who was born in prison while her mother awaited trial – as the verdict was read out.

Preedaporn was arrested on August 12 last year at Phnom Penh International Airport after disembarking from a flight from Singapore, through which she had transited on her way from Brazil.

After her arrest, police discovered 10 large packages of cocaine weighing 12.9 kilograms in her luggage.

Heng Sokna, a Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge, said yesterday that the court had sentenced Preedaporn to the lengthy 30-year internment on charges of “drug transportation, possession and trafficking” under Article 40 of Cambodia’s Anti Drug Trafficking Law.

“The court decided to sentence Bucha Preedaporn to 30 years in prison and fine her 50 million riel, which will be put into the state budget. She has the right to appeal in the higher court,” he said.

Preedaporn described the ruling as a “great injustice” and said she planned to appeal.

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