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Drugs

New video by Hong Kong’s prisons unit shows how drugs cause broken families, regret and sorrow

The Correctional Services Department put up a YouTube clip ahead of the winter solstice, which is a time for family reunions, to send a stark message on the damaging effects of drugs

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 December, 2017, 2:59pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 December, 2017, 3:01pm

A married couple serving jail time for drug smuggling spoke of their regret at depriving their 10-year-old daughter of her parents and how much they miss her, in a new video by Hong Kong’s prisons department.

“Because of drugs, I cannot see my daughter grow up.

“This is the most regrettable thing in my life,” the female inmate said, in a video posted on YouTube by the Correctional Services Department on Sunday afternoon to highlight how drugs can tear families apart.

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The department released the video ahead of the winter solstice this Friday, as it is a time when many families in the city would get together and enjoy a meal. However, some families, such as those whose lives were damaged by drugs, would not be so lucky, it said.

In the four minute and 17 second video, the male inmate Ah Chun, said he and his wife Mickey smuggled drugs into the city and were caught by customs officers. The pair, whose real names were not given, are currently serving sentences of over 10 years for drug trafficking.

Ah Chun is at Stanley Prison while Mickey is at Lo Wu Correctional Institute.

“I really miss my daughter. Even knowing she is ill, I am unable to take care of her,” Ah Chun said in the clip.

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“Drugs cause great harm to people. Drugs affected me, my family and my parents tremendously,” Ah Chun added, as he showed cards sent to him by his daughter, which had motivated him to “become a law-abiding citizen” when he is released.

The video showed Mickey, dressed in brown prison garb, learning how to make sewing patterns and using a sewing machine, as she revealed how she was once obsessed with drugs at the expense of everything else in life.

Now that she has quit the habit, she is taking a distance-learning university course so that she can gain more knowledge to share with her daughter, while Ah Chun is taking a business course.

Department officials also featured in the video, speaking of the support services given to prisoners, and how family members serving time in separate institutions are encouraged to apply to the authority for permission to meet and speak face-to-face.

In a statement announcing the release of the video, the department said: “With Christmas just around the corner, anyone facing the temptation of taking up drug use or drug trafficking should think twice about the consequences, both for yourself and your family.”

According to the Security Bureau, the city recorded 1,315 serious drug offences in the first 10 months of this year with the number down 9.4 per cent from the same period of the previous year.

The number of arrests in such crimes also dropped 14 per cent to 1,853. One in 10 arrested persons were youth aged 20 or below.

However, the amount of cannabis seized by the police skyrocketed 238 per cent, sparking fears about a growing trend of abuse in the city.

Trafficking drugs to Hong Kong is considered as one of the most serious crimes and could result in life imprisonment, while anyone who is caught possessing, smoking or inhaling dangerous drugs stands to face seven years behind bars and a fine of HK$1,000,000.

Watch: Family broken up by drug trafficking