The High Court on Tuesday dismissed a man’s appeal to seek reduction in fine and time extension to settle a fine imposed by the Magistrate’s Court following his guilty plea towards the possession of smuggled booze.
Prosecutor Siti Khalillah binti Hussin, for respondent, revealed that Awangku Abdullah bin Pengiran Jafar, along with accomplices, pleaded guilty on August 15, 2022, to possessing 189 bottles of liquor and was ordered to settle BND23,000 in fine or serve 13 months’ jail in default of payment.
The case concerns their activity on the afternoon of November 2, 2020 when Bangar police were patrolling the boat jetty in Kampong Maniup and saw three men loading suspicious looking cargo onto a car.
The men fled by speeding off in their vehicle.
However, later at night, the men surrendered themselves to the Bangar police.
One of them led the police to where they had dropped the 189 bottles of liquor which they picked up earlier in the afternoon.
The trio admitted they had been each paid BND50 to transport the goods which came from Limbang to a house in Kampong Salambigar.
Awangku Abdullah pleaded for a reduction in the fine and sought for instalments to settle it at a maximum of BND200 per month.
Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong saw no merit in the appellant’s application as the defendant’s illegal money making scheme calls for deterrence and that the fine imposed was close to the minimum as prescribed under the law.
The chief justice also said that the sentencing court has given him a generous six months’ period to settle the fine.
“He has paid BND1,960 so far. Acceding to his payment proposal would mean giving him over eight years to pay which would be inimical to the deterrence objective of the sentence,” the chief justice concluded.