SINGAPORE: The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) has seized drugs worth more than S$2.3 million, including about 23kg of cannabis and about 16kg of heroin, the agency said on Monday (Apr 19).
The cannabis seizure is the CNB’s largest since 1996, while the heroin haul is its biggest since 2001.
About 23,687g of cannabis, 16,548g of heroin, 2,033g of Ice, and 110 ecstasy tablets were seized in the drug bust on Friday afternoon.
A 22-year-old Malaysian man was arrested in the vicinity of Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4, said CNB. Four bundles containing about 3,915g of cannabis were recovered from him.
The man was then brought back to his hideout which was in the same area, said CNB, and officers searched the residential unit.
A total of eight bundles containing about 3,782g of heroin and two bundles containing about 2,033g of Ice and 110 ecstasy tablets were seized from his bedroom.
A total of 27 bundles containing about 12,766g of heroin and 20 bundles containing about 19,772g of cannabis were further seized from the storeroom, added CNB.
Investigations into the drug activities of the suspect are ongoing, said CNB, adding that the amount of drugs seized in the operation is sufficient to feed 7,800 heroin abusers, 1,160 Ice abusers and 3,380 cannabis abusers for a week.
This followed a CNB seizure last month of almost S$1.7 million worth of drugs, including more than 20kg of cannabis.
The drug bust was held across multiple locations in Singapore, with three Singaporean men, aged between 27 and 33, arrested.
DRUG SITUATION "WORSENING"
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Assistant Commissioner Sng Chern Hong, who is Deputy Director of CNB (Policy and Administration), said that the drug situation globally and regionally is “worsening”.
“It is concerning regardless of quantity of drugs seized. But to put things in context, the fact is that internationally or regionally, the drug situation is worsening. So, Singapore, we are monitoring the situation very closely,” he said.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, syndicates are also changing the way they operate, AC Sng explained.
“We do see syndicates adopting different modus operandi. You would have noticed that even last year, we have seen seizures or smuggling through fruits, they are even using drones, and we have syndicates trying to find ways to beat the system.”
However, he noted there has not been a “substantial change” in demand from Singapore.
“If you look at the drug stats we released earlier this year, in fact in terms of drug abusers arrested, there is a drop compared to last year but that is also partly because of (the) COVID (pandemic),” he said
“In terms of the trend, we don’t see substantial change compared to last year. While the numbers have dropped, but we are looking at let’s say the number of young abusers - it’s still about 40 per cent of the total number of drug abusers arrested - so that kind of trend is still there. We don’t see any major change but we will monitor the situation.”
AC Sng declined to elaborate on where the drugs seized in this operation originated from, how they were smuggled in, or whether the latest drug seizure was linked to the March bust, as investigations are still ongoing.
“Singapore is not a drug-producing country. We are surrounded by large-scale supply regions around us ... What is more important that we maintain our vigilance at the borders together with our Home Team counterparts to ensure that drugs do not come in,” said Superintendent Aaron Tang, who is director of the CNB’s Intelligence Division.
“And if drugs indeed do come in, CNB and other Home Team agencies will remain the second line of defence to ensure that these drugs do not flow into the streets.”