Pusher jailed, caned for selling drugs to students at international schools

A drug trafficker, who sold cannabis mainly to students of international schools, was sentenced to eight years' jail and five strokes of the cane by a district court on Thursday.

Selvam V. Katorain, 39, pleaded guilty to trafficking and consumption charges. The permanent resident admitted to selling a packet of cannabis for $50 in August 2011 to Kimberly Han Li Greenaway a Singaporean then studying in an international school.

Selvam also admitted to selling cannabis to Morgan Brant Fletcher. 17, a Briton and international school student, and to Patrick Brandli, a Swiss national. Brandli, 25, was then a third-year student at the Nanyang Technological University.

When Selvam was arrested near his Ang Mo Kio home on Sep 7, 2011, a urine test indicated that he had smoked the drug earlier.

Defence counsel V. Ramesh told the court that when Selvam's plans to marry a foreign national did not work out, despair made him revert to drugs. It was then he met some foreign students by chance and started sharing his stash of cannabis with them for nominal payment.

Arguing for a deterrent sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Terence Chua said that Selvam was sentenced to seven years of corrective training in 2001 for drug trafficking and consumption.

"He has not learnt his lesson and the punishment this time should be more severe," said the prosecutor.

Greenaway and Fletcher pleaded guilty last year to drug charges and were granted probation. Brandli was jailed for eight months in October 2011.