Metro scion Ong Jenn gets additional jail term for cannabis use, possession

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
Ong’s new jail term began on Wednesday, meaning that it will overlap with the previous sentence, which the 43-year-old began serving in July 2017. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — Metro family scion Ong Jenn was on Wednesday (24 April) jailed for two years and two months for possessing and consuming cannabis.

Ong, who is currently serving out a three-year jail term for attempted drug possession, pleaded guilty at the State Courts to one charge of consuming cannabis, also known as marijuana or weed, and two counts of possessing the drug.

The new jail term began on Wednesday, meaning that it will overlap with the previous sentence, which the 43-year-old began serving in July 2017.

Ong is the grandson of the founder of Singapore’s iconic Metro department stores, Ong Tjoe Kim, and the son of its former group managing director Jopie Ong.

Arrested at taxi stand

At around noon on 31 October 2014, Ong was arrested by anti-narcotics officers while he was waiting for a drug supplier, Mohamed Ismail Abdul Majid, at the Ngee Ann City taxi stand.

Ong had agreed to buy 500g of cannabis from Ismail for $5,000. But unknown to Ong, Ismail had been nabbed before he could deliver the drugs.

After his arrest, Ong was escorted back to his home and led officers to one block of 75.32g of cannabis wrapped in plastic and aluminium foil inside a safe in his bedroom. Another 1.44g of cannabis was found inside a plastic container in his bedroom.

Later that day, Ong was asked to provide a urine sample, which tested positive for traces of cannabis. Ong admitted he had been consuming cannabis since the age of 21 and picked up the habit while studying overseas.

“After returning to Singapore, he continued to smoke weed about once a week,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Wu Yujie.

“In the six months prior to his arrest, he had begun to smoke two to three joints of weed every night. The accused admitted that he was addicted to smoking weed.”

Earlier jail term increased

Ong was initially accused of abetting to traffic 92.68g of cannabis and 385.1g of a cannabis mixture.

After a trial, he was acquitted of the trafficking charges after the judge found that the drugs were meant for Ong’s personal use.

Ong then pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted cannabis possession and was handed a two-year jail term.

But the prosecution appealed against the sentence and, in November last year, the prison term was raised to three years.

For his charges of cannabis use and possession, Ong could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000 per charge. Ismail has been jailed 22 years for drug trafficking.

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