Hope from within a dark iron cage

I want to share my journey. Previously, despite being in my prime, I felt trapped by various issues, as if being in a dark cage. These stemmed from my violent and misunderstood family background. Reflecting on my past, I see that nearly half my life was spent in a state of lost freedom.

I was born into a typical family. My father was a construction worker, and my mother was a busy retail salesperson. They were often preoccupied with work, so from the age of 12, I had to learn to fend for myself. However, a single phone call dramatically changed my life forever.

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Radio silence

I’ve been in remand since March 28, 2022, nearly two years now. My case involves myself and another defendant, a high school classmate. We face four charges, including “trafficking in dangerous drugs,” with the case involving 1.5 kg of heroin.

I intend to plead guilty. Someone informed the police about the mastermind behind this case earlier. The police first approached me in mid-October, but they didn’t take a statement then. They asked me to provide substantial evidence and information to aid their investigation. I later sent a letter to the police on November 13 and another to the Department of Justice on November 16, requesting to give my statement. The police visited me and took my statement on November 23. They mentioned that my “boss” had implicated me. My boss was arrested in mid-October 2023 in connection with another drug trafficking case and is currently in detention. There were news reports concerning my case between March 22 and 27, 2022.

The incident occurred on March 22 to the 26 at a luxury hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui East. On the same day, the police identified another male and female suspect. Out of fear that this man might harm my family, I told the police at the station he was my friend. On that day, this man hired a prominent lawyer to accompany me during my statement. My statement simply read, “I have nothing to say.”

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High risk, formidable danger

I was arrested in Sham Shui Po on December 13, 2022, for trafficking dangerous drugs. Before that, I worked as a truck driver, putting in long hours of 15 to 17 per day to earn a monthly income of around HK$30,000. I had financial responsibilities, including supporting my retired parents and covering various expenses. Life was challenging.

In April of that year, my father’s health took a sudden turn for the worse. He required frequent hospital visits. By June, he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and stage IV lung cancer. As someone with a background in insurance, I realized the significant expenses we would face.

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Whatever my future holds

I am grateful to the Lord for comforting me in challenging situations.

I was extremely worried when my boyfriend didn’t come to see me. He is the man I love, and I know his temperament very well. When he can’t win an argument he becomes irritable, and I’m afraid my situation will affect him. Fortunately he has had support throughout this difficult time, and that brings me much relief.

I have now pleaded guilty, and I hope that the people who threatened me will release their grip and not harm my boyfriend and our children. Even now, I am still very distressed. I don’t know the extent of the harm these people can cause to my loved ones, and I don’t know if they are safe. I still feel lost and helpless. I dare not express my thoughts to anyone, including to my boyfriend. All I can do is pray and hope that the Lord’s presence will keep them healthy and safe.

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Momentary greed, long-term consequences

I hope that my story can prevent others from experiencing the loss of freedom due to momentary greed, just like I did. Here is my story:

At the age of 18, I was sentenced to nine months in prison for drug trafficking. Fortunately, I had the support of my family and girlfriend during that time. Although I lacked freedom, my life was less harsh than many others in prison. After my release, I made a conscious effort to stay grounded and avoid further disappointing or hurting my loved ones.

In 2018, I ran into my former inmate friend *Nigel at a bar while attending a friend’s gathering. He had taken care of me in prison, so we exchanged phone numbers and planned to hang out again. He frequently invited me out for drinks and would even pay for my friends. After a few sessions, I asked him how he could afford to hang out so often without a job and still have so much money to spend. He admitted to me that he was selling drugs.

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China executes South Korean for drug trafficking

China has executed a South Korean national for drug trafficking, Beijing’s foreign ministry said, the first time such a sentence has been carried out on a citizen of that country in almost a decade.

A court in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou “lawfully pronounced a verdict and executed the South Korean defendant… for drug trafficking” on Friday, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“When defendants of different nationalities commit crimes on Chinese territory, Chinese law shall be applied equally”, it added.

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Ten years of recklessness

I am a 32-year-old mother of three. I have been on remand for 24 months for trafficking dangerous drugs (methamphetamine), awaiting sentencing.

Family separation

My parents divorced when I was about seven years old. I lived with my grandparents, but I kept a very good relationship with my mom. Although I seldom saw her, I loved her very much. My mother remarried when I was in grade three. She moved to England with her new husband for a while. I pretended like nothing happened when I said goodbye to her at the airport. However, I secretly cried after she left. I remember she sent me a letter with £10 in it for my birthday that year. I cried each time I read through the letter. Six months later, my mom divorced again, returned to Hong Kong and I moved back to live with her. During primary school, I was a top-performing student, consistently ranking in the top ten of my class. In addition to my academic pursuits, I participated in many after-school activities and learned to play musical instruments. Piano lessons were paid for by my grandparents.

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Easy money, harsh consequences

I’ve been imprisoned for almost a year and I feel much remorse for what I did…for the unwise decisions that brought me to this situation.

Between the time I graduated from high school to the time before I got arrested, I used to hang out regularly with a few close friends from high school once or twice per month. Even during the pandemic, we would still get together.

At the beginning of the pandemic, all businesses went downhill. I was a full-time demolition worker and also worked part-time as an Uber driver. When the Covid-19 outbreak gripped Mainland China, all major delivery services were greatly affected. Many goods could not be delivered to Hong Kong, which greatly affected my income. There was a time when I only had work for ten days in a month, and I got paid on a daily basis when there was a job for me. Even my close friends were in a similar situation thus, they couldn’t really offer me help.

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Customs to step up anti-smuggling work

The Customs and Excise Department said on Wednesday that officers will step up inspections for contraband, after reporting a substantial surge in drug trafficking cases last year.

Authorities said they seized around seven tonnes of drugs last year – a 70 percent jump from the year before.

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One arrested for trafficking HK$57 million in drugs

One man on suspicion of drug trafficking was arrested as Hong Kong Customs seized about 100 kg of methamphetamine with a market value of around HK$57 million.

Customs announced on Tuesday that officers found the drugs when inspecting an air cargo consignment arriving in Hong Kong from Canada at the airport on January 30.

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Traffickers changing how they bring in drugs

Police said on Saturday they noticed some drug traffickers changing their techniques for bringing narcotics into Hong Kong.

Officers made the remarks after seizing suspected cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamine with a total street value of $80 million on Thursday and Friday, while arresting six men suspected of drug trafficking.

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Rollercoaster life

This is my first time writing a letter. Let me introduce myself. 

I have been on remand for one and a half years for drug trafficking. I’ve lost a lot during this time.

I couldn’t face my dad at first and I only agreed to let him visit me a month ago. It has been a roller coaster ride for me but I’ve felt more relieved once I started seeing my dad again although he doesn’t bring me much good news. Bad things keep piling on me. My girlfriend decided to end our relationship, and my grandmother got into an accident that has gotten her paralysed. All of these things happened within the same month.

I blame myself for not being able to do anything at moment. If I were out there, perhaps my grandmother wouldn’t have gotten into that accident. And if I were out there, my girlfriend wouldn’t have left me. I’m very lost with all these questions.

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Deconstructing my future

I hope my story will remind people not to get involved in drug trafficking activities. 

I used to be a construction worker but I lost my job at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. At around the same time, the rest of my family members also lost their jobs. I heard from some friends about a way to earn “quick cash”. In my desperation, I made the wrong and regretful decision to get into drug trafficking. The money did come quickly, but I now know it was not worth it at all. I hurt a lot of people, especially my family, and I also lost my freedom.

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My future is doomed

I would like to take this opportunity to persuade you all DO NOT engage in any drug trafficking activities! Let me first introduce my background. I was arrested due to drug trafficking, and I am currently under custody at Tai Lam Correctional Institution.

Because of some family issues, I mixed with the wrong crowd. They lured me into drug trafficking with money, which put me in jail for years at this young age. I was so nervous during those days when I transported drugs for them. Despite knowing that I would definitely be sent to jail if I was caught I thought I would be lucky enough not to get caught by the police.

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