Thai court sentences Taiwanese to life for smuggling heroin

BANGKOK (AP) — A court in Thailand on Wednesday commuted a Taiwanese man's sentence for smuggling heroin to life imprisonment after sentencing him to death.

A Bangkok Criminal Court official confirmed Thai media reports that 38-year-old Chen Kuan Lin had been arrested while trying to smuggle 5.6 kilograms (12.3 pounds) of heroin from Thailand to Taiwan. Authorities found 18 tin boxes labeled as cooling powder in his luggage as he was about to fly from Bangkok's Don Muang airport.

He was found guilty of possession of heroin and trafficking with intent to sell.

The court official, who asked not to be named because he wasn't authorized to discuss the case, said Chen's sentence was commuted because he confessed, a standard practice in Thai courts.

The maximum length of any prison term in Thailand is 50 years.