22-year-old found with bundles of heroin and 'Ice' faces death penalty

A 22-year-old man, who was found with bundles of heroin and Ice in the rented sports car he was driving, was convicted of drug trafficking on Monday and now faces the death penalty.

The case was adjourned for the court to determine whether Masoud Rahimi Mehrzad was merely a drug courier, which would give him a chance to be spared the gallows under new laws that came into effect this year.

In May 2010, Central Narcotics Bureau officers tailed Masoud as he drove a rented Mazda RX8 from his flat to Bishan MRT station, where Malaysian Mogan Raj Terapadisamy got into the car. The two men then parted ways and were separately arrested.

Masoud claimed in his defence that the drugs were planted in the car by an illegal moneylending syndicate who wanted to set him up because he was going to stop working for the group. But the High Court rejected his defence and convicted him of trafficking in 31.14g of heroin - the capital charge - and 77g of methamphetamine, commonly known as Ice. Mogan was also convicted of two non-capital charges of drug trafficking for handing the drugs to Masoud.