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Court upholds term for man who mailed meth

Sophat Mony Sal hides his face as he is escorted out of the Supreme Court last week in Phnom Penh.
Sophat Mony Sal hides his face as he is escorted out of the Supreme Court last week in Phnom Penh. Kim Sarom

Court upholds term for man who mailed meth

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a 26-year prison sentence for a man who was convicted of drug smuggling for mailing 2 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in a package of clothing to an associate in Australia.

Sophat Mony Sal was in May 2012 found guilty of transnational drugs trafficking by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, about 18 months after he had sent a briefcase containing the drugs to a Cambodian-Australian man, Yong Chandara, who was arrested in Australia, the court heard.

Mony Sal was sentenced to 26 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 50 million riel (about $12,500), and his guilty verdict and sentence were upheld by the Appeal Court in February 2016. He yesterday maintained that he believed he was only mailing out packages of tailored clothing.

Yet according to Cambodian police at the time of his arrest, he had also sent 4 kilograms of heroin through the mail to Chandara between 2006 and 2010. In 2010, Australian police arrested Chandara, who gave a detailed admission to Australian police identifying Mony Sal as his Cambodian supplier.

“The suspect’s claim is just an excuse, and he has no evidence to prove it to the court, so the court decides to uphold the verdict of the Appeal Court,” Supreme Court presiding Judge Soeng Panhavuth said yesterday.

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