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By Shaffiq Idris Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Feb 20, 2017
A convicted drug trafficker has testified in court that his relationship with Metro founder's grandson Ong Jenn was that of buyer and seller - nothing else - when it came to narcotics.
Ong, who is on trial for trafficking in cannabis, had told the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) that the drugs he bought were for his personal consumption, according to a CNB statement read out in court on Feb 3 when the trial began.
Testifying for the first time in the trial involving the scion of property and retail giant Metro Holdings, Mohamad Ismail Abdul Majid, 45, told the court on Monday (Feb 20) that he called Ong on Oct 29, 2014 to ask him if he wanted any cannabis.
Mohamad Ismail added that Ong said he wanted to buy 500g of the drug.
He then told Ong that this would cost $5,000, and they met before noon the next day at a taxi stand near Takashimaya in Orchard Road, where Ong gave him $2,000.
Ong was supposed to hand over the remaining $3,000 after receiving the drugs, Mohamad Ismail told District Judge Jasvender Kaur in court.
He added that he went to Jurong Port Road to collect the drugs from an unnamed Malaysian man later that day.
But CNB officers arrested him shortly after he received the cannabis.
They found in his possession a block of 92.68g of cannabis and another block containing 385.1g of a cannabis mixture.
CNB officers arrested Ong, now 41, who is the grandson of Metro's founder Ong Tjoe Kim and the son of its former group managing director Jopie Ong, at a taxi stand at Ngee Ann City Tower A the next day.
The day after his arrest, Ong was charged with trafficking cannabis, as well as possession and consumption of the drug.
He is now on trial for two counts of engaging in a conspiracy with Mohamad Ismail to traffic cannabis. Six other drug-related charges have been stood down.
Mohamad Ismail was sentenced to 22 years in jail and 18 strokes of the cane on Sept 16, 2015 after pleading guilty to three of the seven drug-related charges.
Two of his charges are related to Ong's current charges.
If convicted of engaging in a conspiracy to traffic cannabis, Ong can be jailed for between five and 20 years, and ordered to receive between five and 15 strokes of the cane for each count.
The trial resumes this afternoon.