The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) arrested 3,507 drug abusers in 2012, an increase of 5% from the 3,326 drug abusers arrested in 2011.
In 2012, repeat abusers continued to form the majority of abusers arrested at 69%. The 2,415 repeat abusers arrested in 2012 represent an increase of 10% from 2011.
On the other hand, the number of new abusers arrested dropped 3% to 1,092. Nevertheless, the proportion of new abusers still makes up 31% of the total number of drug abusers arrested. This remains a concern for CNB as 68% of the new abusers arrested are 29 years old and below. Amongst new abusers arrested, new youth abusers below the age of 20 dropped 29% to 162 arrests in 2012.
Heroin and methamphetamine remain the most commonly abused drugs – about 93% of all drug abusers arrested abused either heroin or methamphetamine.
Stemming the supply of drugs from making its way into Singapore and intensive enforcement efforts inland remain key priorities for CNB. In 2012, CNB conducted 49 major operations, dismantling 22 drug syndicates. The intensive all-round enforcement efforts saw a record seizure of drugs in 2012. The estimated street value of the drugs seized in 2012 amounted to S$18.3 million, 14% higher than the estimated S$16 million in 2011. In particular, CNB seized a record 50.84kg of crystal methamphetamine (‘Ice’) in 2012, of which, about 43kg or 85% of it was not intended for the local market.
CNB also did not let up on the preventive drug education (PDE) front. In 2012, ‘DanceWorks!’, the flagship event of the Anti-Drug Abuse Campaign, entered its 14th year. Together with many other PDE events year-round, CNB aims to reach out to more youths and inculcate in them the zero-tolerance approach towards drugs and drug abuse.
The 2012 drug statistics are set against the backdrop of a worsening regional drug situation. Drug production figures in the region continue to set record highs and international syndicates have also made inroads into the region, even as regional countries continue to seek enforcement efforts against the drug scourge.
CNB will continue with its intensive enforcement efforts targeting both the supply and demand side of the drug problem. The amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act, which includes enhanced penalties for drug traffickers targeting young persons and recalcitrant drug traffickers, as well as the temporary listing of possible new substances of abuse, will further strengthen CNB’s ability to fight against the drug scourge.
Beyond prevention and enforcement, the new measures that will be introduced in the rehabilitation and aftercare of drug abusers, such as the Mandatory Aftercare Scheme (MAS), will help CNB to control the local drug situation.
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“To prevent drug contamination from taking hold on the ground, the Central Narcotics Bureau has been keeping up with our intensive enforcement efforts, both inland and at the checkpoints, to remove drug abusers and peddlers alike from the streets as early as possible. 2012 saw an increase in the number of drug abusers arrested and drugs seized. This is an ongoing battle.
The regional drug situation remains unfavourable, with no signs that regional drug production will ease off. Methamphetamine production in the East and Southeast Asia region continue to set record highs, as with poppy cultivation. If left unchecked, all these drugs will flow throughout the region and destroy many.
To the drug syndicates out there who may entertain the idea of making use of Singapore’s excellent transport connectivity to ship drugs through Singapore, they are sorely mistaken. CNB will continue to work closely with our counterparts to hit them hard and deter them from doing so.”
Mr Ng Ser Song (黄思松)
Director, Central Narcotics Bureau