Jail for Colombian cocaine smuggler

AN unemployed man who claimed he was from Colombia was yesterday sentenced to seven years' jail for trying to smuggle 2.3 kilograms of cocaine mixture to Japan via Hong Kong.

Sentencing Pedro Nel Rojas, 43, Deputy Judge Wong said Rojas was only in transit and the drugs were not intended for local consumption.

He said there were few cocaine trafficking cases and a deterrent sentence was not necessary at this stage.

He also took into account that prison life in Hong Kong would be extremely hard on Rojas because he spoke only Spanish.

Rojas had pleaded guilty to one count each of trafficking in a dangerous drug and using a false travel document.

Senior Crown Counsel Christina Ma told the High Court Rojas arrived in Hong Kong on February 25 and presented a Venezuelan passport in the name of Herrera Sanchez Ruben Dario.


Customs officers suspected it was false and the cocaine mixture was found when his luggage was searched.

Under caution, he admitted the passport was not his. He said it was given to him by someone in Brazil with a suitcase to take to Japan.

He also claimed Rojas was his real name and that he was from Colombia.

His counsel, Luke McGuinniety, said his client had lost money in a family garment business and fell prey to temptation when made the offer to deliver a parcel to Japan.