COURT: The defendant pleads guilty to one charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug contrary to section 4(1)(a) and (3) of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Cap 134.
She arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport from Nairobi, Kenya, via Doha. Her baggage was searched and she was suspected tohave internal concealment of drugs. She was taken to the hospital and she eventually discharged 100 pellets of drugs. She now admitsthat she was trafficking in the said drugs at the material time.
Upon analysis, the drugs were found to be 0.96 kilogramme of a mixture containing 0.59 kilogramme of heroin hydrochloride. The retailvalue of the drugs was in the region of HK$784,000.
The defendant is now aged 32, a citizen of Kenya, with a clear criminal record. It is said that she has a daughter aged six and isa single mother. She was earning around HK$1,800 per month prior to coming to Hong Kong.
It is advanced on her behalf that she committed the present offence for financial reasons, ie, to purchase a home for her family,and she was introduced to someone who gave her this opportunity to deliver the drugs via Hong Kong to Guangzhou.
In sentencing the defendant I have taken into account the nature of the offence, the kind of drugs involved, the sentencing tariffs,as well as mitigation advanced by counsel. For trafficking in heroin weighing between 400 to 600 grammes the starting point of between15 to 20 years is to be adopted.
The case of Abdallah deals or reiterated that trafficking cases with an international element is an aggravating feature. I refer to the case of Nanfuka Angel, CACC 359/2009, which involved the trafficking in 523.62 grammes of heroin with an international element where the Court of Appealapproved 18½ years’ starting point.
In the present case I also adopt that as the starting point, 18½ years, and give the defendant one-third discount for her plea ofguilty. She is sentenced to 12 years and 4 months’ imprisonment.