Gambling addict who imported cocaine gets 14.5 years in prison

Cocaine in packages

A Sydney gambling addict faces 14 years in prison for his role in a drug importation scheme. [Image:]

Kenny Chen, an Australian gambling addict, was set to earn around AU$200,000 (US$131,700) for importing 2.4 tonnes of cocaine into Perth. Instead, he faces more than 14 years in prison for his involvement in the illegal scheme.

Police intercepted the drugs off the South American coast last year before they arrived in Australia. They then replaced the packages with plaster before dropping them off for collection off the Perth coast.

When 28-year-old Chen flew to Perth from Sydney to supposedly pick up five wraps of cocaine, he was actually playing into the hands of the police. Chen returned to his short-term accommodation with the packages, where the police eventually arrested him.

has accumulated significant debts through gambling and drug use

In his most recent court case, Chen was represented by Simon Freitag SC. He confirmed that his client had accumulated significant debts through gambling and drug use. Chen allegedly wanted to repay this money and at the same time make a small profit for himself by importing the drugs.

Friday explained Chen’s role in the scheme as follows: “His minor involvement… in a major corporation… for the purpose of financial gain.” He took a risk and lost. He knows that’s the price he has to pay.”

While Judge Lisa Tovey acknowledged that Chen appeared to feel remorse for his actions and noted that he pleaded guilty early, she sentenced him to 14.5 years in prison. Chen must serve 12 years and six months before he can be released.


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