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Hong Kong residents hanged in Singapore

SINGAPORE, April 21 -- Three Hong Kong nationals were hanged for drug trafficking Friday morning at Singapore's Changi prison, despite appeals from Hong Kong human rights activists. A Singapore national and a Nigerian were also executed, bringing to 111 the number of persons to receive Singapore's mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking since it was instituted in 1975. Hong Kong laborer Lam Cheuk Wang, 25, and his unemployed girlfriend, Tong Ching Man,24, were arrested in the departure lounge at Singapore's Changi airport in December 1988 while trying to board a flight for Brussels. The two were wearing vests containing a total of 7 pounds (3.1 kg) of heroin in 29 slabs, Singapore officials said. Hong Kong dance hostess Poon Yuen Chung, 21, was arrested by upon arrival from Bangkok in July 1991 at Changi airport, allegedly carrying 6.7 pounds (3 kg) of heroin in the false bottom of her suitcase. All three were executed Friday morning, despite pleas for clemency from international human rights group Amnesty International. Amnesty international's Hong Kong office administrator, Annie Chung, said the group's representatives presented Thursday a petition for clemency for the three Hong Kong nationals, addressed to Singapore's president, to officials at Singapore's high commission in Hong Kong. 'The secretary promised us she would fax it to the foreign affairs department in Singapore at 3 p.m. Thursday but when we reached the secretary of the president in Singapore after that, he said he hadn't received anything, we faxed it him immediately, Chung said.

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In addition to the three from Hong Kong, a Nigerian and a Singaporean were hanged on drug charges Friday. Nigerian trader Chris Chineynye Ubaka, 32, was arrested in Changi airport's transit hall in July 1993 en route from Bangkok to Zurich with 16 pounds (15.9 kg.) of heroin in his luggage, police said. Unemployed Singaporean Yeo Hee Seng, 34, was arrested in December 1993 and led Singapore narcotics officers to his home, where they found 0.8 ounces (24.2 grams) of heroin. Possession of 0.5 ounces (15 grams) of heroin is enough to receive the death penalty in Singapore.

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