1. Case Overview
The client and her boyfriend are Vietnamese nationals and even though they are not drug handlers, they plotted to import Ecstasy and Ketamine from Vietnam. After that, the boyfriend secured ecstasy and ketamine to be smuggled, the client was in charge of the delivery of drugs to be smuggled, and the boyfriend conspired to receive the smuggled luggage based on the delivery information the client gave.
The boyfriend asked the unnamed person in Vietnam to send Ecstasy and Ketamine, and the client requested the person designated by the above unnamed person to be the recipient A with the recipient’s phone number ‘010-****-****, and the recipient’s address as ‘Gimhae city *******. And, the unnamed person in Vietnam wrapped Ecstasy tablets of 769 tablet and 400 tablets, and 99.38g and 89.16g of Ketamine in paper, wrapped in plastic, packed in boxes with T-shirts, and shipped them by international parcel mail to Korea. As a result, the client and her boyfriend colluded to import 1,169 Ecstasy tablets and 188.54g of Ketamine, which are psychotropic drugs worth KRW 110,030,000 in total.
2. Applicable Law
According to Article 4 of the Narcotics Control Act (Prohibition of handling narcotics by non-narcotics handlers), possession, ownership, use, transport, management, import, export, manufacturing, dispensing, administration, receiving, trading, arranging or providing of narcotics or psychotropic drugs is strictly prohibited for non-narcotics handlers, and violation of this law is punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years or a fine up to KRW 100 million according to Article 60 (1) of the same Act.
3. Assistance of Counsel
In the first instance court, the client proceeded with the trial with another lawyer, and before the sentencing, he sought help from Law-Win. It was a serious case in which the violation of the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes could be recognized as it is, since only the sentencing has been argued in the past. Our defense counsel argued that, for the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes to be applied and not the Drug Control Act, in drug imports, the value of imported and exported drugs must be more than 50 million won, but the client was merely aiding his boyfriend in importing drugs, without knowing exactly what kind of drugs and how much of it was imported, and was never aware that is could violate the special law.
Fortunately, the argument was accepted and the defense resumed, and the prosecutor changed the indictment to the crime to be a violation of the Drug Control Act, not a violation of the Act on Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes. In addition, even in the first instance, the client was given a suspended sentence, and was released from custody.
With the help of our defense counsel, the client was given a suspended sentence.
5. Significance of the Outcome
In drug cases, it is often difficult to deny the accusation itself because the evidence is so convincing. However, as in this case, if you actively defend with the degree of participation and the calculation of the market value of drugs, the desired result can be achieved.