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Jet-setting Laotian gets second life sentence over drugs

Jet-setting Laotian gets second life sentence over drugs

The Criminal Court on Wednesday handed down another life imprisonment term to Xaysana Keopimpha, who used to portray himself as a jet-setting Laotian, for another drug-trafficking conviction.

 

The sentence was commuted from the death penalty, as the court found Xaysana’s testimony partially useful.

Xaysana had lived a high-profile life and rubbed shoulders with socialites in both Laos and Thailand, before he was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport early last year. Without bail, he has been behind bars ever since.

On March 20 this year, he was sentenced to life imprisonment – also commuted from the death penalty – for smuggling 1.2 million methamphetamine tablets into Thailand with the intent to transport and sell them to customers in Malaysia.

Xaysana was brought to the court again on Wednesday in another drug case. Arraigned alongside him were Chumporn Panomprai and Ratchapon Ratsaponpakorn. The three were accused of collaborating with two other drug convicts in ordering two million methamphetamine tablets from Laos with a plan to sell to a client in Malaysia. Ratchapon was said to have accepted the payment for drugs on behalf of the group.

In weighing the evidence, the court convicted just Xaysana and Chumporn, citing the concrete evidence of their role in arranging the drug purchases from Laos. However, the court dropped the charges against Ratchapon because the money he received from Malaysia did not match the volume of drugs found.

After hearing the court’s verdict, the Ratchapon’s mother cried tears of joy and hugged her son tightly. However, Ratchapon has not yet been released as he still faces money-laundering charges.

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