Drug sentence increased

06:08, Aug 22 2014

A man convicted of supplying nearly $8 million worth of the illicit drug pseudoephedrine has had his sentence substantially increased by the Court of Appeal.

Jiquing Wang was initially sentenced to four years and six months jail after conviction in the High Court, but in a ruling out today the Appeal Court has increased this to seven years and six months.

The Solicitor-General had appealed the initial sentence.

Wang had been convicted of possessing 11.2 kg of pseudoephedrine for the purpose of supply.

In the judgment the Appeal Court said in August 2012 a shipment from China containing an oven was intercepted by Customs at Auckland Port. 

The oven contained 35.32 kg of ContacNT, used to make pseudoephedrine.

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The court heard this could have produced around 5.6–7.84 kg of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of between $5.6 million and $7.84 million.

The oven was initially delivered to a central Auckland apartment but proved too large.

Wang’s address was provided as an alternative.

Police raided the apartment and found extensive correspondence with a China-based friend called Lucky, whom Wang had visited numerous times in jail. 

“Lucky was involved in orchestrating the importation of the oven from China,” the court said.

“These messages provided instructions to Mr Wang not to touch the oven, to deny knowledge of its contents, and storage advice so as to distance Mr Wang from the oven.”

The Solicitor-General submitted that the sentence was manifestly inadequate and had failed to place sufficient weight on the reclassification of pseudoephedrine from a Class C controlled drug to a Class B controlled drug.

The Court of Appeal agreed and added the High Court had erred in allowing a discount of one year for good character.

“We consider that no discount could have been given.”

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