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Filipina recipient of drug parcel acquitted of trafficking

14 November 2019

by Vir B. Lumicao

Analyn de Leon walked free from the High Court after being acquitted of the drug charge

A Filipina domestic helper who unwittingly accepted an air parcel containing drugs sent by a man from Africa has been acquitted at the High Court on a charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug.

Analyn de Leon, who the prosecution said was a last-minute consignee of a drug parcel sent in April last year by a man from Cotonou, Benin, was set free today, Nov.14, on a unanimous verdict of  "not guilty" by the seven-man jury.

Judge Amanda Woodcock of the Court of First Instance immediately ordered the release of De Leon, a 38-year-old mother of two.

The acquittal was a sweet vindication for the Filipina, who maintained her innocence since her arrest on May 4 after accepting the parcel sent to her employers’ flat in Yoho Midtown, Yuen Long, from a Customs officer who posed as a delivery man.

De Leon said she agreed to accept the package at the request of a fellow Filipina domestic helper, Adelaida, who said she would not be in Hong Kong at the time of the delivery. The two met only three months earlier at a volleyball game.

The parcel contained 237 grams of methamphetamine or what is commonly called “ice,” valued at $334,530. It was declared to contain dried plums.
Sample of 'ice' seized by  Customs officers in a separate case
The package was originally addressed to one Burnett Mobuka Oguye at a unit in Mirador Mansions, Tsimshatsui. An officer posing as a delivery man tried to deliver the parcel to the address on Apr 24 but staff in the guesthouse said no such person lived there.

The next day a man who said he was Burnett arranged for another delivery that night but cancelled at the last minute.

Later on, a man called Customs and asked that the parcel be delivered to another address and would be received by a woman named Adelaida. But on the date arranged for the delivery, Adelaida was said to have traveled to the Philippines.

After a few days, the sender in Benin sent a message requesting that the package be sent to De Leon instead and gave her employer’s address.

The officer called up De Leon on May 2 and arranged a delivery two days later. After she accepted the parcel, the Filipina was arrested.

Prosecutor Ken Ng said that phone calls, emails and Whatsapp messages found on De Leon’s cell phone indicated she was a last-minute substitute for the original recipient of the parcel.

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