Taiwanese smuggler jailed for 22 years in Cambodia


PHNOM PENH — A Cambodian court has sentenced a Taiwanese man to 22 years in jail for trying to smuggle heroin out of the country, a judge said Tuesday.

Judge Chhay Kong at Phnom Penh Municipal Court said he sentenced Liao Ichun, 34, on Monday after finding him guilty of trying to smuggle 240 grams (8.46 ounces) of the drug to Taiwan.

Liao, who was arrested last December while taping the drugs to his legs in a toilet at Phnom Penh International Airport, was also ordered to pay a fine of 12,500 dollars, the judge said.

A number of Taiwanese nationals, including a 90-year-old man, have been detained and jailed for trying to smuggle heroin through the airport in the Cambodian capital over the past year.

Although drug arrests have increased, Cambodia is becoming an increasingly popular trafficking point for methamphetamine and heroin, particularly since neighboring Thailand toughened its stance on illegal drugs in 2002.