Passengers in shooting case near Shangri-La Hotel charged with heroin trafficking

A damaged red car with a bullet hole on its windscreen is being towed away in Singapore near the Shangri-La hotel on May 31, 2015. Two passengers in the car that crashed through police barriers near the Shangri-la Hotel in the wee hours of Sunday wer
A damaged red car with a bullet hole on its windscreen is being towed away in Singapore near the Shangri-La hotel on May 31, 2015. Two passengers in the car that crashed through police barriers near the Shangri-la Hotel in the wee hours of Sunday were charged in court with heroin trafficking on Monday. -- PHOTO: AFP 

SINGAPORE - Two passengers in the car that crashed through police barriers near the Shangri-La Hotel in the wee hours of Sunday were charged in court with heroin trafficking on Monday.

Mohamed Ismail, 31, and Muhammad Syahid Mohamed Yasin, 26, were both charged with possessing three packets of approximately 9g of heroin for the purpose of trafficking.

The men will be remanded for a week to facilitate investigations into possible further offences.

Mohamed Ismail, who sustained injuries during the incident but was conscious when taken to hospital, was charged via videolink.

The duo were arrested after the driver of the red Subaru Impreza car they were in was shot dead by police at around 4.30am on Sunday.

The driver, Mohamad Taufik Zahar, 34, defied orders to allow police to check the boot of the car and made a run for it, crashing the car through police barricades.

The area around Shangri-La Hotel had been placed under a tight security net, given that it was hosting a major security summit attended by defence ministers and security chiefs.

The police then opened fire at the vehicle. The car, which had a single bullet hole in the front windscreen, came to a stop on a grass patch barely 250m from the entrance of the Shangri-La Hotel. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the deceased man was wanted for failing to attend court for an offence of criminal intimidation. He also has previous drug offences and other criminal records.

Ismail is also wanted for drug related offences and for failing to stop at a roadblock. Both he and Muhammad Syahid Mohamed Yasin have previous drug related offences and criminal records.

If convicted, Ismail and Syahid face between 5 and 15 years' imprisonment and between 5 and 15 strokes of the cane.

amirh@sph.com.sg


Correction note: An earlier version of the story stated the name of man who was shot dead as Mohamed Taufik Zahar instead of Mohamad Taufik Zahar. This has been corrected.