August 13, 2005
Hong Kong: Three young Australians have been ordered to stand trial on
heroin smuggling charges in Hong Kong.
Hutchinson Tran 21, unemployed, Rachel Ann Diaz, 17, a hair stylist, and
Chris Ha Vo, 15, a fast-food worker - all from Sydney - entered not guilty
pleas in the Eastern Magistrates Court yesterday.
Their committal hearing ended within five minutes, when a magistrate ruled
that they had a case to answer.
The three are being held in custody and they did not apply for bail. No
trial date was set.
If convicted, Tran could be jailed for up to 20 years. It is not clear what
penalty Diaz and Vo, who are minors, might face.
The three were arrested in April, when Hong Kong's narcotics squad raided a
budget hotel room in the tourist district of Tsim Tsa Tsui, where Diaz and
Vo were staying.
Police allege that the raid netted 1 kilogram of heroin with a street value
of about $A1 million stuffed into 114 condoms and glove fingers.
Australian Associated Press