PHNOM PENH, June 22 (Xinhua) -- A Cambodian court on Friday convicted a Belgian man of attempting to smuggle 1 kilo of cocaine into Cambodia and sentenced him to life in prison, according to a verdict.
David Noel Catry, 34, was arrested on Jan. 10 at the Phnom Penh International Airport while attempting to import the illicit drug into Cambodia from Brazil via Ethiopia and Thailand. At that time, a kilo of cocaine was found in his suitcase at the airport.
He was charged with "illegally trafficking the drug substances" under the country's Drug Law, said the verdict read by Phnom Penh Municipal Court presiding judge Meng Tony.
"The court decided to sentence David Noel Catry to life in prison and to fine him 80 million riel (20,000 U.S. dollars)," the verdict said.
During a trial on June 4, Catry confessed that he had been offered 30,000 U.S. dollars by a Brazilian man to bring the drug from Brazil to an unidentified Nigerian man in Cambodia.
The Southeast Asian nation has no death sentence for drug traffickers. Under its law, anyone who traffics more than 80 grams of illicit drug will be facing life imprisonment.
According to an Interior Ministry's anti-drug department report, Cambodia had arrested 6,367 illicit drug suspects during the first five months of 2018, and 92 of them are foreigners.