On Monday (24 Apr), British tycoon Richard Branson urged Singapore to halt the imminent execution of Tangaraju Suppiah, a Singaporean who sentenced to death over one kilogram of cannabis, saying it “may be about to kill an innocent man”.
“Tangaraju was actually not anywhere near these drugs at the time of his arrest. This was largely a circumstantial case that relied on inferences,” Branson, who is a member of the Geneva-based Global Commission on Drug Policy, wrote on his blog.
“Killing those at the lowest rungs of the illicit drug supply chain… is hardly effective in curbing an international trade worth hundreds of billions every year,” he said, adding he hoped authorities would review the case.
Tangaraju, aged 46, is set to be hanged on Wednesday (26 Apr), according to the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore.
However, Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) defended that the evidence clearly showed that Tangaraju was “coordinating the delivery of drugs for trafficking”, despite the suggestion that he was innocent because he was “not anywhere near the drugs at the time of his arrest”.