Suspected drug syndicate leader arrested after two-year investigation

Drugs and cash seized from one of the operations CNB launched to take down the syndicate on Sept 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU
Drugs and cash seized from one of the operations CNB launched to take down the syndicate on Sept 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU
Drugs and cash seized from one of the operations CNB launched to take down the syndicate on Oct 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU
Drugs and cash seized from one of the operations CNB launched to take down the syndicate on Oct 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU

SINGAPORE - A 46-year-old suspected drug syndicate leader was arrested on Wednesday in an operation by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and Malaysia's Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID).

The Singaporean is believed to have supplied drugs, mainly heroin and 'ice' - or methamphetamine - to drug traffickers here.

He has been wanted here since 2011, and has been in hiding across the Causeway.

His syndicate - believed to be one of the biggest drug suppliers here - is based in Malaysia. CNB said it was believed to have been able to supply an estimated 4.5kg of heroin and about 500g of ice to the Republic every week, enough for 2,100 heroin addicts and 280 ice addicts.

On Feb 4, Malaysian officers arrested him in Johor Baru and raided his "drug store" and his home. They seized 580g of heroin, 370g of ice, 350g of ketamine, 150 Ecstasy tablets, 4,450 Erimin-5 tablets and RM$48,280 ($18,300).

The man is currently in remand in Malaysia, and investigations are ongoing. If convicted, he could be sentenced to death.

CNB said it started investigations into the syndicate in December 2012.

Between then and February this year, it launched a total of 14 operations to disrupt the activities of the syndicate.

Forty drug offenders have been arrested, and 8kg of heroin, 1.7kg of ice, 1.9kg of cannabis and other drugs were also seized.

CNB director Ng Ser Song said: "The successful conclusion of the protracted investigation against this drug syndicate is a result of the firm resolve and commitment of CNB and NCID to take down drug syndicates. Drug syndicates operate with no respect for national borders.

"CNB will continue to collaborate with our regional counterparts to tackle the drug scourge to stop the flow of drugs."

limyihan@sph.com.sg