Singapore-Malaysia joint operation busts Johor-based drug syndicate

Heroin seized by NCID in Johor on 4 April 2018.
Heroin seized by NCID in Johor on 4 April 2018. CNB/ NCID

Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said in a statement on Sunday, April 8 that Singapore and Malaysia police had launched a joint operation to nail down suspects involved in a Johor-based drug syndicate.

The officers from CNB, including Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) of the Royal Malaysia Police have arrested 16 people and seized 14kg of heroin after a raid.

The director of CNB, Ng Ser Song said that they have managed to dismantle a drug syndicate that was supplying a sizeable amount of drugs to Singapore. The operation has helped them to prevent a large number of drugs from flowing into the streets of the south-east Asian country, the said.

Both the agencies had received an information on Tuesday, April 3 from an intelligence network that a consignment of drugs was arriving in Singapore.

1) Heroin in glove compartment of car driven by 45-year-old Singaporean male suspect. 2) Heroin recovered from within the locker of 25-year-old Malaysian CNB

CNB officers tracked two Singaporean men aged between 45 and 55, who were driving to the car park at the Alexandra Retail Centre, located at 460 Alexandra Road. The officers also identified two Malaysian suspects, who arrived at the car park on a motorbike.

Officers arrested all the four suspects as soon as they left the car park area. When police detained these suspects they found 470g of heroin in the car's glove compartment and recovered $2,500 from each of the Malaysian men.

Later, when officers raided the workplace of a 25-year-old Malaysian, they found 2.4kg of heroin and 525g of Ice.

The CNB arrested two more Singaporean men, who are in their 20s, from Choa Chu Kang supermarket for their alleged involvement with the drug syndicate and a small packet of Ice was found from one of the men.

In a statement, CNB said that both the Singaporeans resisted the arrest and necessary force was used to subdue them. They also added that during the procedure two CNB officers were injured.

Malaysia's NCID had launched another operation on the next day to track the Johor-based drug syndicate. After a raid, they arrested 10 more suspects and seized 11.5kg of heroin and 61g of Ice, including six cars.

CNB's Ng said that the fight against drug must be fought with close cooperation between counterparts, as it is hard to proceed with such operation by only one drug enforcement agency.

However, CNB investigation is under process.

Singapore's Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) is one of the strictest laws for drug offenders. Even though punishment differs in severity depending on the class of seized substance, most of the trafficking offences carry a minimum of 5 years jail with 5 strokes of the cane and a maximum of 30 years and 15 strokes of the cane. In addition,

  • Under section 5-7 of the Act, it is an offence to traffic, manufacture, import or export, possess or consume controlled drugs in Singapore.
  • Section 8 governs the consumption of drugs outside Singapore by a Singapore citizen or permanent resident – if one has consumed drugs outside of Singapore and is found as a result of a urine test to have consumed drugs, he will have committed an offence under this section and will be taken to have consumed the drugs within Singapore.
  • Under Section 9, possessing any pipes or utensils intended for smoking or for the administration of drugs. is an offence.
  • Section 10 prohibits the cultivation of any plant from the genus of cannabis, or any plant from which cocaine can be extracted.
  • Sections 17-22 of the Act also states that anyone found in possession of the drugs will be presumed to be holding them for the purpose of trafficking until proven otherwise. In such cases, police don't require a search warrant to enter any premises to search for drugs.
This article was first published on April 9, 2018