Singapore

Metro founder's grandson: I smoked cannabis daily

The grandson of the man who founded Metro said he smoked cannabis every day and did so before going to sleep the night before his arrest on Oct 31, 2014.

Ong Jenn, now 41, told the arresting officer, Station Inspector (SI) Jeffrey Lim of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), of his drug habit in a statement after his arrest.

He is the grandson of Metro founder Ong Tjoe Kim and the son of its former group managing director Jopie Ong.

Yesterday, at the start of the four-day trial, Deputy Public Prosecutor Ong Luan Tze told District Judge Jasvender Kaur that CNB officers had arrested Ong at a taxi stand at Ngee Ann City Tower A.

He had $2,000 on him to pay a man known as "Mike" for two blocks of "weed", or cannabis.

"Mike" was Mohamad Ismail Abdul Majid, 45, whom CNB had picked up the day before Ong's arrest. CNB found in Mohamad Ismail's possession a 92.68g block of cannabis and another block containing 385.1g of a cannabis mixture.

Ong told SI Lim, who took the stand yesterday, that he had bought cannabis from Mohamad Ismail more than 15 times for his personal consumption.

The day after his arrest, Ong was charged with trafficking cannabis, as well as possession and consumption of the drug.

He is now accused of two counts of engaging in a conspiracy with Mohamad Ismail to traffic a controlled drug.

Six other drug-related charges have been stood down.

His lawyer, Senior Counsel (SC) Tan Chee Meng from WongPartnership, said Ong did not obtain the drug for trafficking.

During cross-examination, SC Tan asked the investigating officer, Senior Station Inspector (SSI) Adam Ismail, whether there was an agreement between Mohamad Ismail and his client for the drugs to be sold to other parties.

SSI Adam replied: "No."

Ong is out on bail of $150,000. His case has been adjourned to Feb 20. The prosecution's final witness, Mohamad Ismail, is expected to take the stand that day.

Mohamad Ismail was sentenced to 22 years' jail and 18 strokes of the cane on Sept 16, 2015, after pleading guilty to three of the seven drug-related charges against him.

Two of his charges are related to Ong's current charges.

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

SmokingdrugsCentral Narcotics Bureau