Construction Worker Gets 10 Years for Dealing Meth

A 31-year-old construction worker arrested in May with almost half a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine was sentenced on Monday to 10 years in prison for drug trafficking.

Tep Sokun was also fined 20 million riel (about $5,000), Presiding Judge Long Kesphirum said at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday morning.

During his trial on February 29, Mr. Sokun denied knowingly trafficking drugs. He told the court that when police raided his home in Sen Sok district’s Toek Thla commune, he was preparing to transport a bag of clothing to the younger brother of a man named Chak—something he had done two times already—for a payment of between $150 and $200. He explained that the people who hired him had paid him such a high rate out of pity because his mother was sick.

Vor Vuthea, chief of the intervention unit of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department, told the court that police had caught Mr. Sokhun in the act of repackaging 499.63 grams of crystal methamphetamine into smaller bags.

Mr. Sokun’s lawyer, Theng Meng Y, said outside the courtroom that his client would appeal.

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