Wednesday, January 26, 2011
A MALAYSIAN, who was only 19 when he became a drug mule last year, was ordered to be hanged on Friday.
Yong Vui Kong was found guilty of trafficking in 47g of heroin on June 13 last year by Justice Choo Han Teck.
During the two-week long trial, his lawyers had argued that Yong was unaware of the contents in the packages in his possession.
They said Yong was merely following the instructions of his boss in Johor Baru to give 'presents' to people here.
These were wrapped in colourful wrapping paper and Yong had been assured by his boss that he would not land in trouble.
His boss had also made him promise not to open the packets.
Although Yong had told police he stood to receive $2,000 for running the errand, he denied it in court, saying that he had made up the lie as the police would not believe if he had told them he was just helping his boss.
The identity of the ringleader, who Yong said drove a Singapore-registered car, is unknown.
Dismissing the defence arguments, Deputy Public Prosecutors Peter Koy and Stella Tan argued that some of the packets had their ends opened and Yong would have seen the drugs.
Perhaps most damaging was the evidence of Yong's accomplice Reggie Gwee Chin Hian, 22, who testified that he had received drugs from Yong five to six occasions between May and June last year.
There had also been two past instances when the drugs were not wrapped when he received them.
The court heard that Yong would drive into Singapore with the drugs.
Once here, he would receive an SMS message with the telephone numbers of the recipients. On his trip on June 12, Yong, an odd-job worker, asked his friend Chai Hor Hsiang, 24, to accompany him.
They drove in at about 10pm and went to Yishun where Yong passed about 14g of heroin to Lim Foo Seng, 51 and received $5,000 in return.
Not realising that they were being trailed by Central Narcotics Bureau officers, they then tried to drive to Meritus Mandarin Hotel in Orchard Road.
They got lost and Yong boarded a taxi with his friend following in the car.
When arrested shortly after midnight after his delivery to Gwee. Yong looked shocked and asked for his mother.
His lawyers, who were assigned by the State as Yong was unrepresented in a capital case, told the court that Yong's father passed away many years ago and his mother was very sickly.
Both Gwee and Lim have been jailed for 22 years for trafficking in drugs.
Yong's friend Chai was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal as there was no evidence he knew of the drugs.
Yong looked devastated when the death sentence was passed, and was seen wiping tears away as he was manacled.
His case will now go before the Court of Appeal.