Saturday 23 September 2023
Select a region

Six years' jail for 'grandparent visitor' who smuggled £44k cocaine

Six years' jail for 'grandparent visitor' who smuggled £44k cocaine

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Six years' jail for 'grandparent visitor' who smuggled £44k cocaine

Tuesday 15 November 2022

A 20-year-old who tried to smuggle cocaine worth up to £44,000 into Jersey by pretending he was visiting his grandparents only got into dealing due to his significant gambling debts, the Royal Court was told as he was sentenced yesterday.

Dominic Jack Tam Ngoc Dang, who claimed he was once stabbed as a result of his debts, was jailed yesterday for six-and-a-half years.

Dang flew from Liverpool to Jersey on 7 September and was stopped at the airport on suspicion of carrying drugs, the Royal Court heard.

When questioned by customs officers he claimed he was in the Island to visit his grandparents. But Advocate Carla Carvalho, prosecuting, explained: "He said they lived in St. Clement but he could not give details of their address. He did not have a return ticket booked.

"He also said he had friends in the Island but he couldn't provide their details either. He only gave vague reasons."

She added: "The whole purpose of his trip was to import drugs for onward supply."

Dang underwent an X-ray at Jersey General Hospital that showed he was hiding four packages containing almost 100 grams of the class A drug inside his body.
The court was told that the cocaine had a 52% purity level, so if mixed with other substances it could have been sold for up to £44,000.

He was also found carrying £731.31 in cash he couldn't account for.

Dang admitted the two charges of evading the prohibition on the importation of goods and possessing criminal property.

He said he had been told to give the drugs to a man named 'John'.

Advocate Carvalho said: "He said he did not know this person and had never met him.

"He said the drugs had been given to him by an individual he didn't know."

The court heard that Dang had numerous previous convictions, including one for possession of cocaine with intent to supply from September 2021. So the advocate added: "He is not a man of good character.

"No exceptional circumstances divert from the court's strict sentencing policy."

She recommended a jail sentence of six-and-a-half years.

Advocate Rebecca Morley-Kirk, defending, accepted Dang was facing prison but requested a sentence of no more than five years.

She said Dang had only started dealing drugs to pay off gambling debts.

"Mr Dang has been a victim of gambling from a very early age. He admits it was problem through his teens," she pointed out.

"He was stabbed when he was 18 or 19 in respect of a gambling debt."

She argued that he should be treated leniently on account of his young age and early guilty plea, and said: "This is a person who is not interested in drugs any more."

But delivering sentence, Bailiff Timothy Le Cocq said the Jurats noted that Dang had "a history of non-compliance with community orders".

He said: "This is serious offending and we take the view that a custodial sentence is inevitable."

The Jurats presiding were Collette Crill, Charles Blampied, Rozanne Thomas, Andrew Cornish and David Le Heuzé.

Sign up to newsletter



Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

There are no comments for this article.

To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?