Singapore

Metro scion acquitted of drug trafficking

Metro scion Ong Jenn was acquitted yesterday of two counts of engaging in a conspiracy with a convicted drug offender to traffic cannabis.

After a three-day trial, District Judge Jasvender Kaur found Ong, 41, not guilty of committing the offences with Mohamad Ismail Abdul Majid, 45.

She reduced the charges to two counts of attempting to be in possession of the drug - 385.1g of a cannabis mixture and 92.68g of cannabis - between Oct 30 and 31, 2014. Ong pleaded guilty to these two amended charges yesterday.

But he is not off the hook.

SIX OTHER CHARGES

Ong, the grandson of the founder of property and retail giant Metro Holdings Ong Tjoe Kim and son of its former group managing director Jopie Ong, still faces six other drug-related charges.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Ong Luan Tze told the judge that if Ong intends to plead guilty to the six other charges, the prosecution will proceed on two - consuming cannabis on Oct 31, 2014, and trafficking, by possessing a 284.7g block of a cannabis mixture at his Bishopsgate home that day.

DPP Ong said the four remaining charges will be taken into consideration.

Ong's lawyer, Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng, told the court he needed time to discuss the matter with his client and the case was adjourned to June 22.

In February, Ong admitted in court that he smoked cannabis every day and did so before sleeping the night before his arrest. He told the arresting officer, Station Inspector Jeffrey Lim of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), of his drug habit in a statement after his arrest.

CNB officers had arrested Ong on Oct 31, 2014, at a taxi stand at Ngee Ann City Tower A. He had $2,000 to pay "Mike" for two blocks of "weed" or cannabis.

"Mike" was Mohamad Ismail, whom the CNB had picked up the day before. He had in his possession a block of 92.68g of cannabis and another block containing 385.1g of a cannabis mixture.

He 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 against him.

Ong told Station Insp Lim that he had bought cannabis from "Mike" more than 15 times for his personal consumption.

However, the court heard on Feb 21 that before his arrest, Ong had agreed to sell 100g of cannabis to a woman.

Ong confirmed this, but said the transaction did not occur.

For engaging in a conspiracy to traffic cannabis, offenders can be jailed for between five and 20 years, and ordered to receive between five and 15 strokes of the cane for each charge. For attempting to be in possession of the drug, for each charge, Ong can be jailed up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000.

drugscourtCentral Narcotics Bureau