Lao drug trafficker Xaysana gets second life sentence

Lao drug trafficker Xaysana gets second life sentence

Convicted Lao drug trafficker Xaysana Keopimpha is taken back to Klong Prem prison on March 20, 2018 after the Criminal Court sentenced him to life imprisonment for smuggling 1.2 million methamphetamine pills into Thailand. One Wednesday he received a second life sentence on another, similar charge. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Convicted Lao drug trafficker Xaysana Keopimpha is taken back to Klong Prem prison on March 20, 2018 after the Criminal Court sentenced him to life imprisonment for smuggling 1.2 million methamphetamine pills into Thailand. One Wednesday he received a second life sentence on another, similar charge. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Lao drug kingpin Xaysana Keopimpha and a Thai accomplice have been sentenced to life imprisonment for smuggling one million methamphetamine pills to the south of Thailand.

The Criminal Court on Wednesday passed sentence on  Xaysana and Chumphon Phanompai for possession of methamphetamine, but acquitted another Thai, Ratchapon Ratsaponpakorn, alleged to have handled the financial side of drug sales in Malaysia.

Xaysana and Chumphon, the first and second defendants, were initially sentenced to death, reduced to life in jail because they cooperated with the court. Xaysana was already serving a life sentence in another case.

Prosecutors charged all three with smuggling illicit drugs into the country on two occasions. 

On the first occasion, the three defendants and other accomplices had smuggled 2.38 million meth pills into the country between July 24 and Sept 16, 2015, according to the charges. The drugs were destined for traffickers in southern Thailand for on-smuggling to Malaysia.

The defendants and their accomplices had later smuggled another one million speed pills to the South between Aug 17 and 22, 2015, prosecutors charged.

The court gave the benefit of the doubt to the three defendants on the charge they had  2.38 million meth pills in their possession with intent to sell. The court ruled there was insufficient evidence and acquitted them.

In the second case, the court found the charges substantiated for two defendants, saying Xaysana had arranged a vehicle to smuggle the drugs for his network. 

The court found Xaysana and Chumphon guilty of possession of the one meth million pills with intent to sell. However, there was no evidence that the third defendant, Ratchapon, had handled financial transactions for the drug network in Malaysia and Laos, as alleged.

Police captured some members of Xaysana’s network in Oct 1, 2016 after seizing 1.2 million speed pills smuggled into Thailand through Nong Khai the previous day. The drugs were being trafficked to the South of Thailand for smuggling to Malaysia.

The expanded investigation led to the arrest of Xaysana.

In March this year, the Criminal Court sentenced Xaysana to life imprisonment for smuggling 1.2 milion methamphetamine pills into Thailand.


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