Three Men Tried for Smuggling Pseudoephedrine From India

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried three men accused of smuggling 1,523 grams of pseudoephedrine, a controlled substance used in the production of illegal drugs, into Cam­bodia from India, using an international shipping service.

Hay Chanphearith, 33, a lieutenant colonel, was charged with drug smuggling and possession of an illegal weapon. Le Van Lanh, 46, and May Jing Hiv, 33, were charged with drug smuggling. All three men denied the charges.

According to Chheang Cham­nan, bureau chief of the Interior Min­istry’s anti-drug police, US agents in Thailand tipped off Cam­bodian police that the men were sending drugs via India.

Mr Chanphearith was arrested at the FedEx Express outlet in Prampi Makara district’s Boeng Prolit commune on July 17, 2010, and Mr Van Lanh and Mr Jing Hiv were arrested the same day in downtown Phnom Penh.

Mr Chanphearith claimed the package belonged to his friend, Mr Van Lanh, who told him to pick it up at the FedEx office and deliver it to a Caltex gas station in Phnom Penh, where the two other men were arrested.

Mr Chanphearith was also charged with illegal weapon possession when officers found an un­licensed handgun in his vehicle.

“I denied the charge because the package doesn’t belong to me,” he said. “Mr Van Lanh told me the secret code number of the goods and asked me to receive the package,” he said, adding that he was told the package contained soft drinks.

Ek Sareth, director of goods dis­tribution in Cambodia for Fed­Ex, said the package was sent from In­dia to a supposed Mr Thy Sao, re­siding in Tuol Kok district.

Both Mr Van Lanh and Mr Jing Hiv denied knowledge of the package’s contents. Mr Jing Hiv claimed he was only asked by Mr Van Lanh to drive him to the meet­­ing point.

According to Mr Chamnan, Mr Thy Sao’s address appeared to be a fake one.

A verdict in the case will be handed down by July 20.

Three Men Accused of Smuggling Chemicals From India

 

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