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Life sentence for Lao drug kingpin

The Supreme Court has rejected a Lao drug kingpin’s request to appeal his life sentence for smuggling more than a million “yaba” pills into Thailand.

In a decision read out at the Criminal Court in Bangkok on Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the life sentence confirmed by two lower courts for Xaysana Keopimpha was final. 

According to prosecutors, on Sept 30, 2016 Xaysana, 44, and accomplices conspired to transport 1.2 million methamphetamine pills into Thailand in a car across the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge and through the Nong Khai immigration checkpoint. The drugs were hidden in a false compartment under the car’s roof.

The drugs were seized and some of the accomplices arrested and later indicted.

Xaysana was detained at Suvarnabhumi airport on Jan 19, 2017 after arriving on a flight from Phuket.

On March 20, 2019, the Criminal Court sentenced Xaysana to death for smuggling drugs into the kingdom. The death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

Xaysana brought the case to the Appeal Court, which on Dec 19, 2019 upheld the life sentence. The drug lord then filed a request for the Supreme Court to consider the case and hand down a final ruling.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court turned down the request that it consider the case, effectively making the life sentence final.

Xaysana was brought from his detention at the Central Correctional Institution for Drug Addicts to hear the Supreme Court’s decision.


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