Drug courier saved by unusual defence

He was a drug courier who knew that a person convicted of trafficking in more than 250g of methamphetamine, commonly called Ice, may face death.

So Mohammad Farid Mohd Yusop had an arrangement with his boss - he was prepared to deliver only up to 250g of the drug.

This was the unusual defence of the 30-year-old Singaporean arrested with more than 380g of Ice in his car.

Yesterday, Farid escaped the gallows after the High Court accepted his defence that he had intended to deal only in not more than 250g of Ice.

Justice Chan Seng Onn reduced the trafficking charge against him to a non-capital one - of trafficking in no more than 249.99g - and sentenced him to 23 years' jail and 15 strokes of the cane.

The maximum jail term is 30 years.

In March 2011, Farid was arrested at the junction of Lavender Street and Bendemeer Road by Central Narcotics Bureau officers who intercepted his car.

The officers found two plastic bags of Ice in the car.

An analysis found that the packets contained 386.7g of Ice, which meant that Farid had crossed the 250g threshold that could earn him a possible death penalty.

Farid admitted from the beginning that he knew the bags contained Ice.

However, he said he would not have collected the drugs if he had known the actual weight of the packages.

He said he had made three deliveries of Ice before he was caught and on these previous occasions, his boss "Bapak" had given him not more than 250g of Ice to deliver.

After a seven-day trial in March this year, Farid's assigned lawyer Amolat Singh argued that his client had trusted his boss not to give him more than 250g of Ice.

Mr Singh said Farid did not inspect the bags because he had no reason to suspect his boss might make him courier a larger quantity of drugs on the fourth occasion.