Court Gives Foreigner 10 Years for Drug Dealing

A Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge has sentenced a Ni­gerian man to 10 years in prison for trafficking 1,875 tablets of the party drug Ecstacy, according to officials.

Police arrested Nigerian national Tony David, 27, in January at Ph­nom Penh International Air­port when he went to pick up exer­cise equipment flown in from the Ne­therlands.

Authorities said a large cache of ecstacy was discovered inside the equipment.

Presiding Judge Sao Meach, who sentenced David to 10 years on Monday, said that the law is ap­plied evenly to Khmers and for­eign­ers alike.

“It is all the same: 10 years is the lowest,” he said.

A nearly identical narcotics case was resolved by the municipal court in June.

A Nigerian national and his Cam­bodian partner were senten­ced to 14 years in prison each after they were found guilty of re­ceiving packages shipped from the Ne­ther­lands containing roughly 6,000 hidden ecstasy tab­lets.

Touch Muysor, police chief for the municipality’s Anti-Drug Traf­ficking office, said Thursday that police don’t believe that any one na­tionality is dominating drug rings in Phnom Penh.

“It is difficult to specify what nationality is the ringleader, it is a mixture of nationalities,” he said.

Graham Shaw of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said that there is no statistical analysis of whether a growing number of foreigners are being prosecuted for trafficking drugs in Cambodia. But he said that average drug trafficking sentences have gotten longer.

Porn Boramy, director of the in­ter­­national cooperation department for the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said that there has been an increase in for­eign­ers and Cambodians receiving hefty sentences due to re­vamp­­ed penalty clauses in the na­tion’s drug law.

“In the past we had weak laws com­­pared to other Asean countries,” he said. “But since the drug law was amended this year the Cam­­­bodian law is stronger and more [comparable] to our neighbors.”

But the revised drug law, which stiffened drug-related sentences and targeted smugglers, has yet to serve as a sufficient deterrent since drug trafficking and abuse is on the rise across the country.

“Drug trafficking is increasing every year,” Porn Boramy said.




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