Singapore

Metro founder’s grandson denies selling drugs

Metro founder's grandson on trial for drugs


Three people sent scion of property and retail giant Metro Holdings Ong Jenn Whatsapp messages about the need to replenish supply just days before his arrest on drug-related charges on Oct 31, 2014.

The court heard that Tan Pek Leng and Gwen Toh were specific, and exchanged messages with Ong Jenn about the need for drugs.

He admitted yesterday he had agreed to sell 100g of cannabis to Ms Toh.

But he denied knowing what another woman, known only as Charmaine Harn, meant when she spoke of supply.

The grandson of Metro founder Ong Tjoe Kim and the son of its former group managing director Jopie Ong, is on trial on two counts of engaging in a conspiracy with convicted drug offender Mohamad Ismail Abdul Majid, 45, to traffic cannabis.

Six other drug-related charges have been stood down.

Yesterday, the third day of the trial, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Ong Luan Tze read out the messages obtained from Ong Jenn's mobile phone.

The court heard that Tan contacted Ong Jenn on Oct 27, 2014, to say Ms Toh wanted to replenish her drug supply as her "guy" was out of town.

The next day, Ms Toh sent him a text message asking for 100g of cannabis in two blocks.

She then asked Ong Jenn, now 41, how much the drugs cost and he replied: "$1,100, just come collect and give cash."

Ong Jenn, who took the stand yesterday, confirmed he had agreed to sell her cannabis but said the transaction did not occur.

OUT OF TOWN

The court heard that Ms Toh contacted him again the next day, but he was not ready to meet her as he was out at a dinner. They did not communicate with each other about the cannabis after that.

On Oct 30, 2014, he received a message from Ms Harn who wrote: "My guy is out of town and my supply is exhausted.

"No point getting a load (because I'm) leaving in a week, wondering if (you) have a $150 I could kop (sic) off you please."

But under cross-examination by DPP Ong Luan Tze, Ong Jenn said he did not know what Ms Harn was asking for.

When pressed, he told the court he assumed Ms Harn was asking for money and the "load" in her message was referring to funds.

He said he did not sell her anything.

It was not mentioned in court if any action has been taken against Ms Toh and Ms Harn.

Ong Jenn's claim has been that the drug he obtained from Mohamad Ismail was for his own personal consumption. He said this in a statement he gave the Central Narcotics Bureau on Oct 31, 2014.

Ong Jenn's lawyer, Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng from WongPartnership, also said in an earlier hearing his client did not obtain the drug for trafficking.

Mohamad Ismail was sentenced to 22 years in jail and 18 strokes of the cane on Sept 16, 2015, after pleading guilty to three of the seven drug-related charges.
Two of his charges are related to Ong's current case.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur will deliver her verdict on May 12.

If convicted of engaging in a conspiracy to traffic cannabis, Ong Jenn can be jailed for between five and 20 years, and ordered to receive between five and 15 strokes of the cane for each count.

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