Cambodian court gives 2 Chinese life in prison for drugs

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) " A Cambodian court sentenced two Chinese citizens to life in prison on Tuesday after finding them guilty of producing and trafficking heroin and methamphetamine in one of the country's biggest drug cases.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court found Deng Yuan Ping, 53, and Ly Yong, 42, guilty of smuggling 55 kilograms (120 pounds) of the illicit drugs worth an estimated $3 million from Laos in June last year. The drugs were believed destined for both Cambodia and third countries.

Two Cambodian men involved in the case also received life sentences, one in absentia as police are still seeking him.

A report earlier this year from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime described Cambodia as an increasingly important hub for smuggling heroin and methamphetamine as well as chemicals used in their manufacture.

At the time of the arrests, police said most of the drugs were intended for Taiwan after being diluted in Phnom Penh to increase their bulk and therefore their value. Ly and Deng were described as familiar with drug-making processes.

The drugs seized were 38 kilograms (84 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine, 16 kilograms (35 pounds) of methamphetamine tablets and 345 grams (12 ounces) of heroin.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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