CRIMINAL CASE NO. 443 OF 2011
COURT: On 9 May last year you were intercepted when you entered Hong Kong through the International Airport.
You were taken to the baggage handling area and required to collect your own suitcase. The suitcase was opened with keys taken fromyour handbag. The suitcase was found to be fitted with a false compartment. A packet was taken from the false compartment which wastested, and it showed a positive result for the presence of methamphetamine.
You were arrested, and when you were interviewed under caution you apparently said that someone that you had come to know on the internethad asked you to fly to Cameroon to bring the suitcase to Vietnam in return for a reward of $3,000. That differs slightly from whatI have been told today, but nothing turns on that.
When the drugs were analysed it was found to comprise 2.91 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “Ice”, which you accepthas a street value in Hong Kong in excess of $2 million.
I have had regard, in terms of the appropriate starting point, to the various decisions that your counsel has referred to me today,as well as other decisions. Quite plainly, this is a very substantial quantity of drugs and would attract a substantial startingpoint. It is very close to 3 kilograms of “Ice”, and whether it was destined for Vietnam or Hong Kong really does not, in myjudgment, make any difference to the sentence. That is the quantity you imported into Hong Kong.
The appropriate starting point after trial, in my judgment, would be one of 24 years’ imprisonment.
The courts recognise that the importation of drugs into Hong Kong is an aggravating feature. Although the decision in Abdallah was specifically dealing with heroin, the principle applies equally to a drug such as this. The appropriate period of enhancementin these circumstances would be 2 years, resulting in an overall sentence of 26 years before taking into account mitigation.
You entered your plea of guilty to the charge in the magistracy when you were brought before that court in committal proceedings.Your plea at that time entitles you to a discount of one-third.
Your counsel has outlined the reasons why you committed this offence. As understandable as they may be, they do not constitute anyfurther mitigation for you.
The result is that you are to serve a period of 17 years 4 months in prison.
I do repeat, however, that if anything comes to light subsequently which may be of assistance to you, you would be at leave to applyto the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal out of time.