About 6.3kg of heroin, 3.5kg of cannabis and about 280 gms of methamphetamine seized, drug syndicate busted

14 Sep 2016

CNB conducted an operation on 14 September 2016, crippling a drug syndicate, and seizing about 6.3kg of heroin, 3.5kg of cannabis and 280g of methamphetamine (or ‘Ice’) worth over S$600,000.

On 14 September at around 4am, CNB officers were deployed in the vicinity of Marsiling Drive to conduct observation on a suspected drug trafficker, a 54-year-old male Singaporean. A 43-year-old male Malaysian was spotted arriving in the area and leaving shortly after.

CNB officers proceeded to raid the hideout of the 54-year-old male Singaporean, arresting the 54-year-old, a 49-year-old male Singaporean suspected drug associate, and a 43-year-old female Singaporean suspected drug associate. About 1.3kg of heroin was seized from the 54-year-old and the 43-year-old. A small amount of heroin and ‘Ice’ were seized from the 49-year-old.

Meanwhile, CNB officers continued to tail the 43-year-old male Malaysian to Pasir Ris, and arrested him, seizing about 3.1kg of heroin and 125g of ‘Ice’ from his car. Follow-up investigations were conducted on the suspected intended recipient of the drugs, a 57-year-old male Singaporean, and about 1.8kg of heroin, 3.5kg of cannabis and 150g of ‘Ice’ were recovered from his hideout in the vicinity of Compassvale Lane.

Investigations into the drug activities of all suspects are ongoing. The Misuse of Drugs Act allows for the death penalty if the amount of diamorphine (or pure heroin) trafficked exceeds 15g[1], if more than 500g[2] of cannabis is trafficked, or if the amount of methamphetamine trafficked exceeds 250g[3].

CNB has seen an increase in the seizures for ‘Ice’ and cannabis in the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year[4]. The World Drug Report 2015 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) noted that the regional drug situation continues to be challenging, with the largest methamphetamine seizures coming from East and Southeast Asia[5]. Its latest 2016 report indicated that the seizures of opiates (mainly heroin) leaving the Golden Triangle have increased, with the quantity of seized heroin and morphine increasing from a low of 5.7 tonnes in 2008 to 13 tonnes in 2014.Regionally, drug enforcement agencies continue to see record seizures of drugs[6]. There are also increasingly liberal attitudes towards drug abuse among youths, influenced by how drug use is legitimised and decriminalised in other countries, and normalised by social media.

Amid these concerns, CNB continues to carry out sustained and intensive enforcement efforts. Mr Winston Wong, Deputy Director CNB, said, “There is much misinformation, misleading our youths into believing that drugs, especially cannabis, are not harmful and addictive. Global developments on the cannabis front, coupled with the increasingly liberal attitudes of the young, have not escaped the eyes of drug syndicates, who are hoping to ‘cash in’ on such developments. CNB’s increased seizures of drugs indicate the challenges that we are facing. I hope the public will continue to support our efforts and build a Drug Free Singapore with us. Singapore will be hosting the 5th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters next month, to discuss the challenges of the drug problem at a Ministerial level with our foreign counterparts.”

Figure 1: Seizure of heroin, ‘Ice’ and cannabis from January 2015 to Jun 2016

Drug Type Jan – Jun 2015 Jul- Dec 2015 Jan – Jun 2016[7]
Heroin 20.35kg 33.32kg 25.17kg
‘Ice’ 6.89kg 8.69kg 9.32kg
Cannabis 24.12kg 20.17kg 41.61kg

Photo 1: Drugs and cash seized during a CNB operation on 14 September 2016

Photo 1: Drugs and cash seized during a CNB operation on 14 September 2016

Photo 2: CNB officers conducting a search during the CNB operation on 14 September 2016

Photo 2: CNB officers conducting a search during the CNB operation on 14 September 2016

CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU
14 SEPTEMBER 2016

[1] 15g of diamorphine is equivalent to 1,250 straws, which is sufficient to feed the addiction of about 180 abusers for a week. This is estimated using a typical purity level of 4%, based on drug seizures in recent years. The number of straws that are actually made may vary according to the purity level of the heroin used in the straws.

[2] 1,000g of cannabis is sufficient to feed the addiction of about 143 abusers for a week.

[3] 250g of methamphetamine is sufficient to feed the addiction of about 185 abusers for a week. This is estimated using a typical purity level of about 77%, based on drug seizures in recent years.

[4] The latest drug statistics are reported in data.gov.sg at https://data.gov.sg/dataset/information-on-quantity-of-controlled-drugs-seized .

[5] The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s 2015 World Drug Report reported that the amount of methamphetamine seized increased by almost 2.5 times from 34 tonnes in 2009 to 88 tonnes in 2013.

[6] News of sizeable regional seizures of drugs include:

a) http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/690665/9-nabbed-2-1-tons-of-marijuana-seized-in-indonesia

b) http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/50m-drugs-seized-in-huge-melbourne-airport-bust/news-story/8d9023c2d88a24affcbdc4e14322b165

c) http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/03/16/1-2-tonnes-ganja-seized-in-biggest-drug-bust-this-year/

d) http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1770231

e) http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/police-seize-marijuana-worth-rm1.6m-in-penan

f) http://www.ibtimes.sg/malaysian-police-seize-182kg-ganja-married-couple-jelutong-1730

g) http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/06/24/police-nab-couple-seize-46kg-of-marijuana-worth-rm104000/

[7] Figures for 1H 2016 are provisional and subject to revision due to on-going cases.

Last updated: 6 Jul 2017