16-year-old drug trafficker sentenced to jail

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2006, 12:00am

Updated at 6.34pm:
A 16-year-old drug trafficker ? who pleaded guilty to the charge on February ? was sentenced to four years and nine months at the Court of First Instance on Tuesday morning.

He was arrested during an investigation outside a hotel in October last year.

Acting on intelligence, officers of the Police Narcotics Bureau intercepted the 16-year-old outside a hotel on Nathan Road last year.

Five packets containing 130 grams of a mixture containing 60 grams of heroin hydrochloride tucked inside his right sock were found by the police officers, a spokesperson from the Police Narcotics Bureau said.

The haul could fetch over $43,000 in the retail market, according to the spokesperson. Investigations later revealed that the man had carried the drug for a reward of $4,000.

This case follows another high profile drug trafficking case in the territory, which resulted in long prison sentences being imposed on two young Australians on Monday.

Two Australian teenagers and a man began long prison sentences on Monday night for trying to smuggle 700 grams of heroin to Sydney via Hong Kong.

Rachel Diaz, 18, Chris Vo, 16, and Hutchison Tran, 22, all from Sydney, each pleaded guilty to trafficking in a dangerous drug after being arrested on April 12 last year at the Imperial Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Along with the would-be smugglers, police found 701.97 grams of heroin and a large number of condoms to be filled with the drug before being swallowed by Vo for the flight back to Australia.

Vo was jailed for nine years, Diaz for 10 years and eight months and Tran for 13 years and four months.

It was alleged in the Court of First Instance that all three had fallen prey to a drug-smuggling syndicate that Mr Justice Peter Longley said was employing the tried and tested method of using vulnerable or extremely young people to do its dirty work.

Hong Kong often hands out long prison terms on people convicted of drug trafficking. Neighbouring Singapore, however, imposes a mandatory death penalty to people convicted of trafficking in excess of 15 grams (half an ounce) of heroin and 30 grams of cocaine while Malaysia?s drug laws prescribe the mandatory death penalty for people trafficking in more than 15 grams (0.5 ounce) of heroin or 200 grams (seven ounces) of cannabis.

Thailand sometimes also imposes the death penalty for drug trafficking.

For further references on the penalities of drug trafficking, visit http://www.ccguide.org.uk/abroad.php