COURT: The defendant, aged 21, pleaded guilty to this charge of trafficking in 3.47 kilogrammes of a powder containing 2.36 kilogrammesof cocaine when he appeared in the Magistrates Court on 4 October this year.
He has confirmed in these proceedings both his plea and the Summary of Facts.
The defendant was intercepted after his flight from Bogota via Sao Paulo and Dohar had landed at the airport. His luggage contained,amongst other things, nine jackets and a vest and these contained a total of 20 packets of cocaine with a combined street value ofjust over $3,317,000.
The sentencing guidelines in HKSAR v Abdallah Anwar Abbas, which was reported  at 2 HKC page 197, provide that for quantities of between 1,200 and 4,000 grammes, as Mr Collins has rightlyjust indicated, sentences of between 23 and 26 years’ imprisonment should be considered.
In this case, before enhancement for the international element in the offence, I would have taken a sentence of 24 years as a startingpoint after trial. The defendant brought into Hong Kong a huge commercial consignment of cocaine and, as a result, for that element,there will be a 2-year enhancement, making a starting point, after trial, of 26 years’ imprisonment.
Mr Ramirez, would you stand, please. You have pleaded guilty in good time. The starting point will be discounted by a third from thesentence that you would have received after trial, and that means if you had been found guilty by a jury. The sentence, therefore,in your case is one of 17 years and 8 months’ imprisonment.
So 17 years and 4 months is the sentence, not 17 years and 8 months as I said earlier.