Boy tells of torture by gang after smuggling drugs to Sydney
A 15-year-old Hong Kong boy who smuggled millions of dollars of methamphetamine into Australia was tortured by gangsters after some of the drugs went missing in Sydney, a court was told yesterday.
He said that when he returned home he was stuffed in the boot of a car, driven to the mainland and forced to smuggle more drugs.
The teenager - testifying against three alleged members of the smuggling gang - was so disturbed that he overdosed on painkillers. A nurse persuaded him to go to the police.
Wong Tak-wai, 35, John Lee Hoi-tong, 45, and Wong Tak-keung, 32, are being tried in the Court of First Instance on six counts of conspiracy to traffic a dangerous drug between October 2009 and March 2010.
Opening the case, prosecutor Nicholas Adams said Lee recruited the boy in October 2009. Lee was renting a house owned by the boy's father in Fanling Wai and knew the father was heavily in debt. He used this as leverage to get the boy to become a drug mule, the court heard.
The boy was introduced to Wong Tak-wai, who was described as the boss. 'Wong asked whether I had the guts to [do it] for him... The remuneration was HK$10,000 each time,' the boy, now 16, told the court.
'He said that if I was arrested on the mainland, they'd get someone to bail me out... If I got arrested in Hong Kong, I'd be given HK$100,000 as compensation,' he said.
Adams described what he called the boy's 'adventure' to deliver the drugs to Sydney after making three trips to the mainland to collect 3.3 kilograms of methamphetamine.
In December 2009 the boy was to fly to Sydney with drugs hidden in a pair of sports shoes, but the shoes fell apart and the mission was aborted.
A second attempt, on January 1 last year, succeeded. The boy sold 329 grams of the drugs in Sydney for A$90,000 (HK$726,000) in two transactions to 'Ah Leung'. He then travelled to Brisbane to deliver the money, Adams said. But on his return to Sydney, he found 971 grams of the drug Wong told him to keep in a hotel safe was gone. At this point, the boy was 'tortured, beaten and assaulted' over the missing drugs, Adams said.
On his return to Hong Kong, he was put in the boot of a car and taken to the mainland, where he was pressured into delivering more drugs.
The trial continues today.