Court upholds life term for Lao drug smuggler Xaysana

Court upholds life term for Lao drug smuggler Xaysana

Lao drugs convict Xaysana Keopimpha arrives at the Criminal Court in Bangkok on Thursday to hear the Appeal Court's decision. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Lao drugs convict Xaysana Keopimpha arrives at the Criminal Court in Bangkok on Thursday to hear the Appeal Court's decision. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

The Appeal Court has upheld a sentence of life imprisonment for Lao drug kingpin Xaysana Keopimpha for smuggling 1.2 million speed pills into the country in 2016.

In its ruling, read at the Criminal Court on Thursday, the Appeal Court found that Xaysana, 44, had arranged for the drugs to be smuggled from Laos and for a vehicle with a false compartment in the roof to conceal them.

Although this happened outside the country the crime was intended to be committed in Thailand, and he must serve his term here, the court ruled.

The court dismissed his appeal that Thai authorities had misunderstood him, possibly due to a wrong translation between the Thai and Lao languages.

In March last year the Criminal Court sentenced Xaysana to death, commuted to life imprisonment, for smuggling 1.2 million methamphetamine pills through Nong Khai province, on the border with Laos.

The drugs were seized in September 2016 and smugglers in his network arrested the following month. The meth pills were reportedly destined for Malaysia.

Xaysana was arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province on Jan 19, 2017 after arriving on a flight from Phuket.

Since his arrest, Xaysana has been detained at the Central Correctional Institution for Drug Addicts.


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