Tourist Police, Accomplices Get 10 Years for Drug Deal

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday sentenced four people, including two tourist police officers, to 10 years in prison on drug trafficking charges following their arrest in March for conspiring to sell nearly 800 grams of methamphetamine.

“The court sentences the accused named Suon Lenin, 34; Lun Pha, 47; Muth Khim, 38; and Mau Dalin, 30, to 10 years in prison each,” Presiding Judge Ly Lipmeng announced to the court, adding that the four would each be fined 20 million riel.

During their trial earlier this month, Mr. Pha, a tourist police officer, said that on March 8, anti-drug police posing as buyers arranged to purchase 784 grams of powdered methamphetamine from him and Mr. Lenin, another tourist police officer, for $30,000.

Mr. Pha said that he and Mr. Lenin had purchased the methamphetamine from Ms. Dalin and recruited Mr. Khim, a tuk-tuk driver, to pick it up from her at the Parkway Square shopping center and bring it to them at a PTT gas station in Chbar Ampov district.

When they handed over the drugs to the undercover agents who were waiting in a car at the gas station, all three men were arrested, he said. Ms. Dalin told the court that she was arrested in Kompong Cham province two days later.

While all three men admitted to being involved in the deal, Ms. Dalin said she knew nothing about the methamphetamine.

As she was escorted from the courtroom Monday, Ms. Dalin again professed her innocence. “If I had done it, I would have escaped, I would not have let them arrest me,” she said.

Then, unprompted, she went on: “Another person persuaded me to do it.” Asked who, she said: “Lun Pha.”

Keo Vanny, a lawyer for Mr. Pha, said the sentence handed down to his client was too harsh.

“He already admitted his mistake and the court should reduce his sentence,” Mr. Vanny said, adding that he would meet with Mr. Pha to discuss appealing the court’s decision.

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