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Filipina jailed 28 years for conspiring to manufacture drugs

24 June 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap

A High Court jury voted 5-2 to convict the Filipina

Two hours. That was all it took for a Filipina tourist to get caught in a conspiracy to manufacture drugs that today ended with her being jailed for 28 years.

Anna Mae J. Enriquez, 41, was convicted by a High Court jury along with two others on a charge of conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine (called ice or shabu in other places) weighing 4.71 kilos in a flat in To Kwa Wan between Mar 5-6, 2019.

Her co-accused, Kent Lam Tsz Kin, 58, who owned the flat, was jailed for 29 years; while another co-conspirator, Mexican Marco Torres Gonzalez, 35,who bought the pot used for extracting the drugs, also got 28 years in jail.


Lam was meted an extra year in jail because he had ordered his daughter, who was then only 15 years old, to accompany Gonzalez to Aeon Plaza to choose the pot to be used in manufacturing the drugs.

Enriquez, on the other hand, was arrested in Lam’s flat where she had chatted with Gonzalez for more than two hours while the drugs were being extracted from liquid solutions in the kitchen.

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In sentencing, Judge Esther Toh called their crime a “nefarious and criminal activity” that had the potential of causing a lot of misery to people in Hong Kong.

While she accepted that the drug manufacturing operation carried out by the three accused was unsophisticated as it was just carried out in a flat, it still involved a big amount of drugs.


Toh also said manufacturing drugs is a more serious offence than drug trafficking.

“If this was a trafficking case, the starting point for the sentence would have been 26 years in jail, but because manufacturing is more serious, I will add two more years, making it 28 years,” she said.

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The judge said that since bringing in drugs in crystal form is easier to detect, more traffickers are resorting to distilling the illicit substance from a liquid solution to avoid detection.

She also disregarded pleas by counsel for the defendants for leniency, citing the long period of time they will be separated from their children.

Lam has a 19-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son; Gonzalez has two daughters, aged 5 and 3; while Enriquez has two daughters aged 21 and 20, and a 15-year-old son.


A particularly impassioned plea for mercy was made on behalf of Gonzalez, who his counsel would miss seeing his two young daughters grow up and would have already finished school by the time he finished serving his sentence.

The Mexican was also described as highly educated and intelligent and had come to Hong Kong only to collect a US$80,000 loan.

But Toh was unmoved, saying all the potential drug victims in Hong Kong have family members, too, who would be harmed if they fall prey to operators of the drug trade.

While the judge read out their sentences, the defendants all looked stoic but the family members of Lam and Enriquez who were in court looked fidgety.


In the Filipina’s case, her two daughters who were in court along with their younger brother, broke out in tears when they heard the long prison sentence meted on their mother.

Outside court, the siblings who came accompanied by two Hong Kong-based relatives, were told by their mother’s solicitors that there were at least two grounds that could be raised if they decided to appeal the case.

They all went down to the basement to have a chat with their mother before she was brought back to Tai Lam Correctional Institute.

A senior officer from the Narcotics Bureau gives press briefing outside court (Sing Tao file photo)

The court was told during the trial that Enriquez had lived in Hong Kong with her now-estranged husband and their children, but they all decided to return to the Philippines when her application for permanent residency was denied.

On Mar 5, 2019, Enriquez flew to Hong Kong alone. She said Lam’s sister-in-law who lives in the Philippines along with her husband, had earlier agreed to accompany her on a shopping trip, but backed out at the last minute.

She went straight to iClub Ma Tau Wai hotel where she was booked a room by Lam. Gonzalez and Lam’s family members were also billeted at the hotel at the same time.

The next day, Enriquez said Lam invited her to go up to his flat nearby, where she met Gonzalez. She claimed they spent more than two hours chatting about their children and using their phones to go on social media.

Both denied knowing anything about the drug manufacturing that was happening in the kitchen at the time.

Meanwhile, Lam was stopped on To Kwa Wan Road by officers from the Drug Investigation Division of the HK Police. He took the officers to his flat where they also arrested the two other defendants.

The were all charged with conspiring to manufacture dangerous drug, contrary to sections 6(1)(a) and (2) and 39 of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, and put on trial after they pleaded not guilty to the charge.


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