AN ammunition dealer who was led into a trap by an important police and ICAC informer was jailed for two years at the High Court yesterday. Lam Chi-wah was not arrested until seven months after the crime because the police did not want to risk exposing the informer. His case was then further delayed so the informer could be securely placed in a safe house before being called as a prosecution witness. Lam claimed he should not be put on trial because of the long delay in bringing his case to court. But his application for a stay of proceedings was rejected by Mr Justice Saied last September. The case gives a rare insight into the way in which law enforcement agencies use informers. During the bid to prevent the trial going ahead, a superintendent from the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau told the court the decision to delay the arrest of Lam was so that the informer could stay in position. The court heard the informer was providing vital information about the smuggling of arms, including grenades and assault rifles, into Hong Kong. The informer also helped bring about the arrest of a gang of robbers and the seizure of a consignment of the drug 'ice'. After the arrest of Lam in July 1993, time was needed to move the informer and his family to a safe house. But the need for him to give evidence in the trial disappeared when Lam's co-defendantLeung Sui-lun agreed to become a witness for the prosecution. As a result, the case against Leung did not proceed. Following this, Lam pleaded guilty to possessing ammunition. Mr Justice Saied said Lam would have been jailed for seven years if it was not for his plea in mitigation. The judge said he has taken into account the fact that Lam had been the victim of entrapment. The informer provided information to the ICAC concerning the supply of firearms. He also met an officer of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau. After this, the informer contacted Lam and Leung. On December 17, 1992, police arranged for the informer to buy 130 rounds of ammunition through Lam for $30,000. The informer met Lam and Leung later that day. Lam was told to take the bullets to a hotel room where surveillance equipment had been installed, and was arrested on July 10, 1993. Guy Holland, defending, said in mitigation Lam had received only $5,000 for his role as middle-man. The fact that this was a case of entrapment meant that Lam deserved a significant reduction in his sentence, said Mr Holland. 'There would have been no offence if it had not been for the activities of that informant,' he said.