Hksar v Tsang Heung Chung

Court:High Court (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:HCMA291/1998
Judgment Date:30 Jun 1998
HCMA000291/1998 HKSAR v. TSANG HEUNG CHUNG

HCMA000291/1998

HCMA291/98

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

(Appellate Jurisdiction)

MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO. 291 OF 1998

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BETWEEN
HKSAR Respondent
AND
TSANG HEUNG CHUNG Appellant

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Coram : Hon Nguyen, J. in Court

Date of hearing : 30 June 1998

Date of judgment : 30 June 1998

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J U D G M E N T

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1. The Appellant who was the 1st Defendant in the original case pleaded guilty on 9th March 1998 before Mr Paul Kelly to three offences : the first of importing unmanifested cargo; secondly, importing goods to which the Dutiable Goods Ordinance applied without a licence; and thirdly, dealing with goods to which the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance applied. On the first charge, he was sentenced to 9 months' imprisonment and on the other two charges, one month's imprisonment each, all sentences to be served concurrently.

2. The Appellant was arrested, together with 11 other Chinese males, on 6th March 1998 as a result of a Police operation at the Yaumatei cargo working area. The Appellant was the Master of what is described as a Chinese Territorial Vessel which entered the Yaumatei Typhoon Shelter and berthed next to a lighter. A container was seen to have been unloaded from the Appellant's vessel onto a trailer which was on the shore. In the Appellant's vessel was another container inside which was found to have been a built-in metal tank and in the metal tank was found the 18,000 litres of unmanifested light diesel oil.

3. The Appellant had pleaded guilty and was sentenced on the date he pleaded guilty, which was three days after the commission of the offence. The original ground perfected by Counsel then in charge of this appeal, who was not Mr Buchanan, was that the learned Magistrate had erred by wrongly failing to conduct an inquiry into the mitigation that the oil was in fact for the use of the Appellant's vessel. Mr Buchanan who appeared for the Appellant this morning quite properly abandoned that ground.

4. In the light of the Appellant's plea of guilty, it would have been unarguable to try and say that the oil in question was meant for the use of the Appellant's own vessel. What Mr Buchanan does advance is that in the Statement of Findings by the...

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