IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
CRIMINAL CASE NO 251 OF 2014
Transcript of the Audio Recording
COURT: Madam, you pleaded guilty in this case as D2 to trafficking in dangerous drugs, that being 2.8 kilogrammes of solid, containing2.24 kilogrammes of heroin hydrochloride.
Briefly, what’s happened is as follows. At 9.52 pm on 27 January of last year, that is 2014, you were intercepted at the airportas you were about to depart to Australia. Your baggage was searched, your suitcase and your travel bag were found to contain 48 soapswhich appeared identical to the 48 soaps found in the suitcase of D1 on 25 January, upon his arrival from Vietnam.
Inspection of those soaps in the baggage revealed each to contain a packet of suspected heroin. Under caution, you said someone wouldgive you $30,000 for taking the soaps to Australia.
You said, and clearly you were in error, that there were not white powder, but you knew there must be dangerous drugs and should becooked.
Subsequent examination confirmed that there was a total of 2.8 kilogrammes of solid containing 2.24 kilogrammes of heroin hydrochloride.The street value of the dangerous drugs involved is about $2.17 million.
Investigation revealed that both you and D1 bought return tickets from Hong Kong to Vietnam. You sat next to each other on the flightout on 21 January of 2014. D1 returned on 25 January and D2 on the 26th. You both had tickets to depart to Australia on the sameflight on 27 January.
In a subsequent video-recorded interview, under caution, you said the following:
You admit to one previous conviction in Hong Kong from a dissimilar offence from a very long time ago. Because of that, I will regardyou as a person of clear record. The antecedent statement which has been corrected by Mr Leung on your behalf tells me the following:
Mr Leung then entered further mitigation on your behalf, largely related to your background and how you became involved with thisoffence. He told me that you were born in Vietnam when your mother was visiting whilst pregnant, but you were brought up in Cambodia.There you helped your parents in running a business. When the unfortunate war broke out in Cambodia, you escaped to Thailand andsought the assistance of the United Nations. There you met your husband. You then went to Paris, where you married and had threechildren, two daughters and a son. You then went to Australia.
At this stage, everything was going well in your life. However, you and your husband purchased a fruit store, which proved to a financialdisaster, because of the opening of a supermarket nearby. Your family lost all the money, and your husband and you were having moneydifficulties. He travelled a lot, leaving you behind with the children.
Eventually, you went to Cambodia and Vietnam. In Vietnam you helped in hospitals. You met a person there who you thought was a friend,and who knew you had lost money and proposed the scheme so you could recoup your money.
I am told that you are very remorseful, that your daughters are here today to support you. You have been advised how serious thisoffence is, and that you will be made the subject of a substantial prison sentence.
I turn now to the actual sentence.
Trafficking in dangerous drugs, especially heroin, is a very serious matter indeed. It is one for which the courts do impose longsentences. I have a lot of sympathy for your difficult past, I take into note your charitable works, that you were entirely co‑operativewith the authorities upon being stopped at the airport, and of course your major point of mitigation is your plea of guilty.
Taking all these matters into account, I am going to be as lenient as I possibly can. I am going to take a starting point at the bottomof the tariff. That starting point is 23 years. There will be an enhancement of 2 and a half years because of the international aspectof this offence. That takes the starting point to 25 and a half years. And because of your plea of guilty, you will receive the fullone-third discount. You will go to prison for 17 years.