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Pinoy seaman awaits sentence as Colombian jailed 24 yrs for drug trafficking

12 December 2018

Filipino seaman who brought the cocaine into Hong Kong awaits sentencing at High Court


By Vir B. Lumicao

A Colombian man arrested in June last year along with a Filipino seafarer who brought nearly 2 kilograms of cocaine molded like shoe soles into Hong Kong has been sentenced to more than 24 years in jail for drug trafficking.

The cocaine was shaped to look like shoe soles
Cristhian Enrique Posso, 38, was sentenced on Dec 12 by High Court Judge Esther Toh at the end of a 10-day trial in which the jury unanimously found the defendant guilty of trafficking in a dangerous drug.

The jury acquitted another Colombian man, Jose Gonzalez Uribe, who was arrested by customs and police officers along with Posso and seaman Carlito B. Platon on Nathan Road in Yaumatei on June 2 last year.



Toh immediately sentenced Posso on Wednesday after prosecutor Alex Ng said the defendant had three previous convictions, including one in 2010, also for drug trafficking, for which he was sentenced to 8 years in jail.

Posso was reportedly a torture claimant who applied for non-refoulement (or against being sent back to his home country) after coming to Hong Kong as a visitor. 



His counsel, Richard Donald, confirmed Posso’s previous convictions said in mitigation that his client was 38 years old, married and has three children including twin daughters.

Toh sentenced Posso to 23 years in jail for trafficking in 1.982 kg of solid cocaine with a purity of 1.333 kg. Then she added 15 more months for what she said was Posso’s bad record and abuse of Hong Kong’s hospitality despite his recognizance status.



The judge said nothing on when Platon would be sentenced. The Filipino admitted his guilt before Toh on Nov 27, a day before the start of the trial of Posso and Uribe.

Consul Paulo Saret, head of the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section, told The SUN he hoped the sentence on Platon would be cut further because of his guilty plea and for cooperating with investigators.



“Hopefully, his guilty plea would lead to a further reduction of his sentence,” Saret said.

Platon took the witness stand during the trial despite having been approached by a man who introduced himself as a lawyer and allegedly threatened him in order not to testify for the prosecution.



“I came to court not to get a discount, but only to clear my conscience," Toh quoted Platon as telling Posso’s counsel Donald when the lawyer told him during cross-examination that the Filipino was testifying to get a discount.

Toh, summarizing the case to the jury, said the three were arrested shortly after they left Panda Hotel in Jordan Road on a taxi on June 2 last year.

Posso, accompanied by Uribe, booked a room at the hotel, and shortly after, Platon arrived and delivered the cocaine.

The judge said customs and police officers intercepted the three and recovered HK$105,000 that Platon had received for delivering the drug.

The money, in four stacks of $500 bank notes bundled with rubber bands, was found in Platon’s rucksack during his arrest on Nathan Road. Posso and Uribe tried to run away but were nabbed by other officers.

















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