On 3 March 2020, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), in partnership with Bedok and Central Police Divisions, Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and Ministry of Health (MOH), mounted an operation to disrupt the illegal supply of cough syrup and medicines. Acting on information provided by the Bedok Police Division and HSA’s active surveillance for six months, the operation was carried out in three areas. In total, more than 125,000 ml of codeine cough syrup and 63,000 units of assorted medicines, such as cough suppressants and sleeping pills, were seized. The total street value was approximately $80,000. Please refer to Annex A for photographs of the seized products.
2 During the multi-agency operation, officers laid an ambush at an office in Golden Mile Complex, which was suspected of being used to manufacture and store cough syrup illegally. Two suspects were observed entering the office and soon after, one of the men exited the office pushing a trolley with bottles of cough syrup and assorted medicines. The items were seized and both men were apprehended immediately. Preliminary investigations revealed that the cough syrup and assorted medicines were meant to be sold by illegal peddlers in Geylang.
3 On the same day, officers conducted raids at a coffee shop along Lorong 12 Geylang and a clinic at People’s Park Complex. A doctor is assisting HSA in the investigations for illegal supply of medicines. Seven other persons, aged between 26 and 69, were arrested and are currently assisting HSA in investigations. One of them is also being investigated by CNB for suspected trafficking in dihydrocodeine. Dihydrocodeine is a Class B controlled drug listed under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Any person convicted of trafficking a Class B controlled drug will face a minimum of three years’ imprisonment and three strokes of the cane.
4 HSA takes a serious stand against illegal activities that would harm public health. We will take strong enforcement actions against those who engage in the import, manufacture or supply of illegal health products. Anyone caught importing, manufacturing and/or supplying of illegal health products is liable on conviction, to an imprisonment term for up to 2 years and/or fined up to $50,000.
5 Members of the public are encouraged to report any illegal activity involving illegal cough syrup to the Enforcement Branch of HSA at Tel: 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
5 MARCH 2020
Seized tablets and cough syrup
Haphazard storage of assorted medicines in office at Golden Mile Complex
Assorted medicines seized from office at Golden Mile Complex