Metro founding family scion Ong Jenn sentenced to 2 years' jail for drug-related offences

Ong Jenn arriving at the State Courts on July 12, 2017.
Ong Jenn arriving at the State Courts on July 12, 2017. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Metro founding family scion Ong Jenn, 42, was sentenced to two years in  jail on Wednesday (July 12) on two counts of attempting to be in possession of cannabis and a cannabis mixture.

He pleaded guilty to these offences on May 12, following a three-day trial in which he was accused of two counts of engaging in a conspiracy with a convicted drug offender to traffic the drug. Six other drug-related charges were stood down.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur did not find him guilty of these trafficking charges and reduced them to the ones Ong pleaded guilty to.

He then admitted to attempting to be in possession of 385.1g of a cannabis mixture and 92.68g of cannabis between Oct 30 and 31, 2014.

During his trial, Ong testified that he suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and insomnia.

He also said the drug helped him focus and sleep better at night.

On June 22, Deputy Public Prosecutor Ong Luan Tze urged Judge Kaur to jail the accused for three years.

DPP Ong also highlighted the large amount of drugs involved in these cases, adding that his medical condition should not be an exception.

She said: "The courts ought to be careful not to condone the use of illegal drugs for the alleged relief of a medical condition."

Pleading for a sentence of between eight months and a year, Ong's lawyer, Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng from WongPartnership, told the court last month that after his arrest on Oct 31, 2014, his client had sought help at Narcotics Anonymous Singapore of his own accord to address his drug habit.

Ong also attended rehabilitative sessions with consultant psychiatrist Munidasa Winslow, who specialises in treating addictions.

SC Tan said Ong has undergone regular and random urine tests. They have all tested negative for illicit substances.

He added: "To this end, he has been volunteering regularly at a drug addict support group to share his experiences and to encourage other drug abusers to follow his example, turn over a new leaf and do their best to live a drug-free life."

Ong's wife and other family members were present in court. They declined comment.

A pre-trial conference will be held on July 28 for the six charges that were stood down.

For attempting to be in possession of cannabis, for each charge, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000.