A purported reporter was convicted of trafficking more than 400 grams of crystal methamphetamine and sentenced to 25 years in jail by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday.
Lin Meng, 33, was arrested on September 27, 2015, in Meanchey district’s Stung Meanchey commune with what police said at the time was more than half a kilogram of drugs.
“Presiding Judge Veng Hourt sentenced Lin Meng to 25 years in prison and fined him 50 million riel [about $12,500] for having more than 400 grams of drugs,” Ly Sophanna, a deputy prosecutor and spokesman for the court, said on Wednesday.
He explained that Mr. Meng was probably convicted for having a smaller quantity of drugs than he was found with because not all of the substance was narcotics.
“They sent the drugs to the laboratory to test it and find out its purity,” Mr. Sophanna said. “For example, it is 60 or 70 percent pure but the total [substance] is more, so they find the purity and the court will punish according to the purity.”
Judge Hourt declined to comment and referred all questions to the spokesman.
Deputy district police chief Meng Vimeandara said he participated in the dealer’s arrest last year and that Mr. Meng was a reporter for a little-known newspaper called Prum Mok Buon, a name that refers to the four-faced statues at Bayon temple.
“After we got a tip from our secret police, we deployed our forces to watch him. When he arrived, we arrested him,” he said, recalling the operation. “He was wanted for a long time, and when we arrested him we found almost a kilogram of meth. He is not a small person.”
Mr. Vimeandara said Mr. Meng was actually found with 600 grams of drugs in his bag, but Mr. Meng denied that it was his.
Commune police chief Mao Savoeun also said the operation netted 600 grams of meth and added that Mr. Meng was captured while on his way to a local rented house to pack the drugs.