Entornointeligente.com / The trinidad Guardian / A South Korean style taekwondo champion was yesterday fined $45,000 after he pleaded guilty to possession of over one kilogramme of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.
Leigh Young Lum Kin, 28, of Block One, Palmiste, who represents T&T and won a gold medal at an international competition on Sunday, claimed he was driven into the illegal trade because he could not land a good job.
Prosecutor Sgt Denzil Alexander told San Fernando Senior Magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine that the police had executed a search warrant at Lum Kin’s home around 12.10 pm on December 2. Under the steps in the garage area, the court heard, charging officer PC Dhoray found four jars containing 50 plastic bags of marijuana and another bag of marijuana. Lum Kim reportedly told police the drugs were his and no one else knew about it. The police also found a quantity of packets with marijuana, three scales and a quantity of cash, including US$2011, $10 Belize currency and TT$18,161 in his bedroom. The drugs weighed 1062 grammes.
Lum Kin told the police he collected notes, kept his US currency home instead of banking it and the Belize money was given to him by his mother. However, the officer took the money because he was of the opinion it was derived from the sale of marijuana.
PC Dhoray subsequently handed over the money to Sgt Marcelle, of the Financial Investigation Branch, who seized it under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Asking for leniency yesterday, Lum Kin’s attorney Frank Gittens said his client was suffering not from unemployment but under employment. Listing all his academic achievements and qualifications, Gittens said his client’s expectations and aspirations were high, but the only employment he could get were menial jobs which had an effect on him.
Gittens said his client, who does landscaping, was also the current light weight champion in taekwondo and had won several medals in local and international competitions.
He said his client, who came from a strong Catholic household and had a good upbringing, had embarrassed himself and his family and was remorseful.
The magistrate commented, “I think the global philosophy that nothing is wrong with weed is what is influencing a lot of our young people.”
The magistrate ordered Lum Kin to pay $10,000 of the fine forthwith and the balance by March 1. Told that there was a detention order for the seized money, the magistrate sent the matter to the High Court for a determination on whether the money should be confiscated.
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Con Información de The trinidad Guardian
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