A 26-year-old transportation worker was sentenced to 17 years and four months in jail after he admitted to a charge of drug trafficking, Apple Daily reports.
The defendant surnamed Lai Hiu-fung was arrested on May 20 last year at the Hong Kong International Airport with his 19-year-old girlfriend, after 2,700 grams of methamphetamine worth HK$840,000 was found in eight plastic bags concealed in the pockets of his shorts, which were worn inside a pair of jeans, Headline Daily reported.
Lai’s lawyer pleaded for leniency, saying the defendant was forced to commit the crime to be able to pay back HK$100,000 in credit card debt.
Lai, who had told his girlfriend that he was helping a friend transport diamonds to Tokyo for a reward, fully regretted his action, his lawyer said.
The court heard that Lai, who quit school after completing secondary four, used to earn about HK$12,000 a month as a driver for a courier company and was living with his parents and elder brother prior to being arrested.
The judge said the defendant could be handed a jail term of 26 years, but his sentence was reduced by a third in view of his admission of the offense.
Lai was quoted by Headline Daily as saying that he would like to serve his time behind bars as soon as possible so he could be released afterwards and be able to look after his aging parents.
Lai’s girlfriend had initially faced the same drug trafficking charge but the Department of Justice later decided not to prosecute her.
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