Three jailed over crack cocaine trafficking

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 August, 2006, 12:00am

Three men caught converting cocaine into crack for personal use were jailed yesterday for between 40 months and four years.

Ho Chun-man, 29, Chan Tsz-ming, 29, and Poon Yiu-man, 22, each pleaded guilty in the Court of First Instance to one count of trafficking in a dangerous drug after being arrested in a police raid in Tin Shui Wai on October 7 last year. A second, more serious charge of manufacturing a dangerous drug, to which the three each pleaded not guilty, was left on file.

Chan had previously pleaded guilty to one count of possessing dangerous drugs stemming from a separate incident in August last year. He was on bail for that offence when arrested for the other.

The court heard that police had set up three observation posts around Ho's flat on the night of October 6. At about 1am on October 7, police saw the three men in the kitchen taking turns at shaking a test tube containing a liquid.

At about 2.40am, Poon went to leave the flat but was intercepted by police. He tried to block the door, closing a metal grille and screaming a warning that police were there.

All three were arrested and the scene cordoned off. Police later recovered glass fragments with traces of cocaine and 0.73 grams of the drug in powdered form.

Investigators found powdered cocaine in the flat and a box containing 12.2 grams of sodium bicarbonate, used to make crack from normal cocaine.

Ho told police he had been trying to make crack for the trio to smoke before the raid. Chan and Poon admitted they had purchased the cocaine for Ho to 'cook'.

Mr Justice Peter Longley sentenced the three - all of whom admitted to cocaine addiction - to 40 months' prison for trafficking cocaine and sentenced Chan to a further 16 months, eight of which were to be served consecutively, for the older possession case.