Three Charged for Smuggling Marijuana From Laos

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday charged three men with drug trafficking for allegedly smuggling more than 1 ton of marijuana into the country from Laos, police said.

Sary Botsatya, chief of the anti-drug trafficking bureau at the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department, said the men were charged by Investigating Judge Ros Piseth under Articles 39 and 40 of the anti-drug trafficking law and were sent to Prey Sar prison Thursday evening.

They face between 10 years and life in prison. “The investigating judge finished questioning them and decided to imprison them,” he said. Judge Piseth could not be reached.

The suspects—Som Dara, 36; Suon Pheakdey, 33; and Vit Saing, 48—were arrested during raids on three separate properties in Phnom Penh on Friday and Saturday last week that resulted in the seizure of 1.4 kg of marijuana and 1.5 kg of cannabis oil, according to police.

During a press conference at the National Police headquarters in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, Khieu Saman, director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department, said the suspects smuggled the marijuana —worth about $7 million—into Cambodia in bags marked Dao Coffee, then repackaged the drugs in vacuum-sealed plastic for eventual export.

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