Five of Six Men Admit During Trial to Dealing Meth

During their trial at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday, five men admitted to dealing methamphetamine earlier this year, but a sixth claimed he had been set up.

The six were arrested October 23 at the Mondial Center in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kok district, a once-fashionable wedding hall where police confiscated 170 grams of methamphetamine in powder form.

They identified the men as Thai Sivanthea, 37; Chey Tha, 27; Heang Lorsak, 26; Kim Song, 34; Mao Sereyratana, 24; and Sen Dara, 27.

At the time, both Mr. Sivanthea and Mr. Tha were military officers, but have since been discharged. In court, everyone but Mr. Sivanthea admitted to drug dealing, and all claimed Mr. Sivanthea was not involved.

While being questioned by Presiding Judge Keo Mony, Mr. Sivanthea said he did not know how drugs had come into his possession.

“I just went to sit for pleasure only,” he said. “Police arrested me and I don’t know who brought [the drugs].”

Judge Mony responded by telling Mr. Sivanthea that the court had substantial evidence against him.

“You know, police followed you for many months,” he said.

A verdict will be delivered July 17.

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