Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Ming Hsuan OU & Chun LAN

Year: 
2015-2016
Category: 
Serious Drugs
Location: 
Victoria

Two Taiwanese men, 25-year-old Ming Hsuan Ou and 30-year-old Chun Lan, were charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of a controlled drug, being 92.8 kilograms of methylamphetamine, concealed inside suitcases which had been imported into Australia on a flight from Taiwan to Melbourne on 24 May 2014.  Co-offenders Li Ping Chen and Shu Yi Lin were also charged with participation in this crime.

On 29 July 2014, members of the Australian Federal Police executed search warrants on two apartments in Melbourne.  At the first apartment, occupied by Chen and Lin, police located 4 suitcases containing bags of methylamphetamine (116.4 kgs total / 92.8 kgs pure).  At the second apartment, occupied by OU and LAN, police located scales containing methylamphetamine.  CCTV footage showed the movement of the suitcases into one of the apartments and then to the other.  Police also located fingerprint evidence on relevant items.

The prosecution case was that the drug trafficking was established principally through the offenders being in possession of the drugs for sale.  Chen and Lin had physical possession of the drugs at the time of arrest.  The prosecution alleged that all accused had joint possession pursuant to an agreement.  It was alleged that trafficking also occurred in the transporting, weighing, and packaging of the drugs.  The wholesale value of the methylamphetamine in this matter was between $23 million and $25 million.  The street value was said to be over $116 million.

Ou was convicted at trial by a jury.  A no case submission was upheld in relation to Lan, who was acquitted.

Charge/sentence

On 18 December 2015, Ou was sentenced for the offence of :

  • One count of trafficking commercial quantities of controlled drugs contrary to s302.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth) by virtue of s11.2A of the Criminal Code (Cth).

OU was sentenced to be imprisoned for fourteen years.  A non-parole period of ten years was fixed.

Chen and Lin were sentenced on 23 October 2015.  Both men were sentenced to be imprisoned for twelve year.  In each case a non-parole period of eight years was fixed.

Sentencing remarks

The Judge stated that Ou came to Australia intending to traffic in methylamphetamine, that his offending was objectively serious and that he was motivated by financial gain. In passing sentence, the Judge denounced Ou’s conduct, stating that punishment was required so that he and others would be deterred from committing similar crimes.