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CNB officers conducting a search during the CNB operation on 14 September 2016 (Source : CNB)

CNB seized drugs worth over S$600,000 in raid at Marsiling

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) has seized about 6.3 kg of heroin, 3.5 kg of cannabis and 280 g of methamphetamine (or ‘Ice’) worth over S$600,000 in an operation on 14 September 2016.

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

It said that the officers then 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.

There were about 1.3kg of heroin 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.

At the same time, another CNB officers continued to tail the 43-year-old male Malaysian to Pasir Ris, and arrested him. They seized about 3.1 kg of heroin and 125 g of ‘Ice’ from his car.

A 57-year-old male Singaporean, a suspect who is the alleged recipient of the drugs, and about 1.8kg of heroin, 3.5 kg of cannabis and 150 g of ‘Ice’ were recovered from a 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 15 g, if more than 500 g of cannabis is trafficked, or if the amount of methamphetamine trafficked exceeds 250 g.

CNB's announcement stated that 15 g 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.

And that 1,000 g of cannabis is sufficient to feed the addiction of about 143 abusers for a week. While, 250 g 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.

The investigations are ongoing. If the suspects can be proven guilty, they will be facing mandatory death penalty.

Drugs and cash seized during a CNB operation on 14 September 2016 (Source : CNB).Drugs and cash seized during a CNB operation on 14 September 2016 (Source : CNB).

CNB said that it 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 (view the statistics here). 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, and the amount of methamphetamine seized increased by almost 2.5 times from 34 tonnes in 2009 to 88 tonnes in 2013.

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.

Seizure of heroin, ‘Ice’ and cannabis from January 2015 to Jun 2016.
Seizure of heroin, ‘Ice’ and cannabis from January 2015 to Jun 2016.

Regionally, drug enforcement agencies continue to see record seizures of drugs. "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," it said.

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,” he added.