HKSAR v. CHERIF MOHAMED

HCCC74/2011

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 74 OF 2011

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HKSAR
v.
Cherif Mohamed

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Before: Hon Wright J

Date: 5 May 2011 at 9.35 am

Present: Ms Winnie Lam, SPP, of the Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Caesar Lo, instructed by Herbert Tsoi & Partners, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, for the Accused

Offence: Trafficking in a dangerous drug (販運危險藥物)

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Transcript of the Audio Recording
of the Sentence in the above Case

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COURT: On 19 July last year, you were intercepted when you entered Hong Kong International Airport. Your baggage was searched butwithout result. You were taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and X-rayed, where foreign objects were seen inside your body. Over theensuing two days, you discharged a number of pellets, 82 in all, which, in total, contained 790 grammes of cocaine which you accepthad an estimated retail value in Hong Kong in excess of $1.2 million.

When you were interviewed by Customs officers, you said that you had swallowed the pellets in Lagos. A friend had asked you to bringthem to Hong Kong and that, for making the delivery, you would receive a reward of US$4,000. You accepted that you were traffickingin the dangerous drugs.

Your counsel tells me, helpfully, that he has explained the decision of the Court of Appeal in Abbas to you. That decision indicates that for trafficking in a quantity of cocaine – or, in that instance, heroin but heroin equates tococaine – between 600 and 1,200 grammes, a period of imprisonment of between 20 and 23 years is appropriate before any aggravatingfeatures are taken into account. That case also, quite clearly, indicates that the importation of drugs into Hong Kong is to be regardedas an aggravating feature.

The quantity of drugs you had is towards the lower end of that band and I would regard 20 years 6 months as the appropriate startingpoint after trial, with an enhancement of 1 year 6 months for the international factor, giving a total sentence, before mitigation,of 22 years of imprisonment.

You pleaded guilty and you did so at the earliest opportunity. Current sentencing practice says that that entitles you to a full one-thirddiscount on the sentence. Counsel has told me about your personal circumstances and those of your family. There is nothing in thatwhich I have been told that justifies any further reduction in sentence.

Consequently, the sentence you are to serve is one of 14 years and 8 months’ imprisonment.