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Crime in Hong Kong

Hong Kong man jailed after hiring GoGoVan driver to pick up crystal meth

Van driver reported matter to police after he found the size of the package to be suspicious

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 January, 2018, 6:37pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 January, 2018, 11:05pm

A “bright” young man was jailed for four years and eight months on Friday, after his drug distribution plot was unearthed by a GoGoVan driver he hired.

Joseph Chan Hei-chun requested a driver from the popular vehicle-hailing app to pick up 12 grammes of crystal methamphetamine, better known as ice, for him in 2016. He was arrested and brought to court after the driver, who found the parcel suspicious, alerted the police.

In sentencing the man, High Court judge Mr Justice Kevin Zervos reminded the 34-year-old of his decent upbringing. “You have been given every opportunity in life by your family,” he said, referring to Chan’s education in the United Kingdom.

“Rather tragically, you got yourself into drugs,” the judge said, calling Chan’s fall from grace and addiction to drugs “disappointing”.

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He said Chan had let his father, a successful businessman in the jewellery trade, down, but he accepted his remorse.

Before sending Chan away, he said he hoped the defendant, who had spent time in Canada and sat his A-level examinations in the UK, could take the opportunity to pick up courses in jail, and “turn a new leaf”.

Chan pleaded guilty earlier to one count of trafficking 12 grammes of ice, as well as one further count of possessing an additional 0.14 grammes of the same substance, all together worth more than HK$4,000.

The court heard the GoGoVan driver received Chan’s order on August 7, 2016, so he went to pick up a “gift” from Chan’s friend in Mong Kok, and delivered it to the defendant in Sai Wan.

But the small size of the parcel raised the driver’s suspicions, prompting him to call the police.

Police arrested Chan when he picked up the package. A further 0.14 grammes of ice, which was for his self consumption, was found on Chan, the court heard.

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Under police caution, Chan told officers that he received an order from an Indian buyer. He therefore arranged the van service to get hold of those drugs for distribution. He was supposed to make HK$300.

Zervos on Friday said he noted the “bright and intelligent” defendant grew up in a loving family with a promising future. But his “severe drug addiction” had caused his life to deteriorate to a point that he had trafficked drugs.

He said as a judge, he had seen reoffending drug traffickers returning before him with larger amounts of drugs, which caused them to spend the rest of their life in and out of prison.

“Don’t let [this] happen to you,” he told Chan.