Metro scion gets another jail term for drug offences

For cannabis consumption and possession, Ong Jenn could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000 on each charge.
For cannabis consumption and possession, Ong Jenn could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000 on each charge.

Metro family scion Ong Jenn has been slapped with another jail sentence for drug-related offences, after pleading guilty to cannabis possession and consumption.

The 43-year-old - grandson of Metro founder Ong Tjoe Kim and son of the department store chain's former group managing director Jopie Ong - was sentenced to two years and two months in jail on Wednesday. He had pleaded guilty to a cannabis consumption charge and two counts of being in possession of the drug.

For his first conviction, he had pleaded guilty on May 12, 2017, to one count of attempting to be in possession of 92.68g of cannabis and another of attempting to be in possession of 385.1g of a cannabis mixture in October 2014. He was sentenced to two years in jail in July 2017.

He was originally slated to be released from prison on Nov 10 last year and placed on home detention. But on Nov 1 last year, the High Court increased his jail term from two years to three, after allowing an appeal by the prosecution for a heavier sentence.

He began his latest sentence of two years and two months in jail on Wednesday, with his old and new sentences overlapping.

The court heard that Central Narcotics Bureau officers arrested Ong at a Ngee Ann City taxi stand at around noon on Oct 31, 2014.

They escorted him to his Bishopsgate home near Grange Road and he admitted that he kept a block of cannabis in a safe in his bedroom. They recovered a block of "vegetable matter" in the safe and also found a plastic container with "loose vegetable matter" in his bedroom. Officers from the Health Sciences Authority analysed the block and it was found to contain at least 75.32g of cannabis. The plastic container had at least 1.44g of the drug.

Ong was taken to Clementi Police Division headquarters and his urine sample was later found to contain traces of cannabis.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wu Yujie told District Judge Marvin Bay that Ong last smoked the drug, which he referred to as "weed", on Oct 30, 2014. The DPP added: "Investigations revealed that the accused first started smoking 'weed' at the age of 21 while studying overseas. After returning to Singapore, he continued to smoke 'weed' about once a week. In the six months prior to his arrest, he had begun to smoke two to three 'joints of weed' every night. The accused admitted that he was addicted to smoking 'weed'."

For cannabis consumption and possession, Ong could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000 on each charge.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2019, with the headline 'Metro scion gets another jail term for drug offences'. Print Edition | Subscribe