32 people arrested for suspected drug transactions on chat apps including Telegram

During the operation on April 18 and 19, drugs worth $140,000 were seized. PHOTOS: CNB
Packets of Ecstasy tablets seized on April 18, 2022. PHOTO: CNB
A total of 38 suspected drug offenders were arrested in an islandwide CNB operation
conducted on April 18 and 29, 2022.
PHOTOS: CNB

SINGAPORE - A total of 32 suspected drug offenders were arrested in an islandwide Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) operation targeting drug transactions conducted through encrypted chat applications such as Telegram.

During the operation on April 18 and 19, drugs worth $140,000 were seized.

Officers seized about 191g of crystal meth, also known as Ice, 718g of cannabis, 714g of Ecstasy tablets, and two bottles of liquid suspected to contain gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB).

On April 18, CNB officers arrested a 26-year-old Singaporean man in the vicinity of Bukit Batok West on suspicion of being involved in drug transactions conducted on Telegram.

The man was escorted to his residence in the same area, where a total of about 173g of crystalline substances believed to contain Ice, 488g of cannabis, 713g of Ecstasy tablets, 51 Erimin-5 tablets, multiple LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) stamps and one bottle of liquid suspected to contain GHB were seized.

A 24-year-old Singaporean man who later visited the same residential unit was also arrested for suspected drug offences.

Superintendent Stanley Seah, deputy director of intelligence division, said that 50 suspected drug offenders were arrested in November last year when CNB carried out a similar operation targeted at drug transactions conducted on encrypted chat applications.

He said: "Drug offenders naively assume that these chat applications can afford them the anonymity to facilitate their illegal activities, so that they can evade CNB's detection but they are wrong.

"This latest operation shows that CNB is not letting up on our efforts against drug offenders, regardless of whichever methods they use to mask their activities."

If a person is found guilty of trafficking more than 500g of cannabis, he or she may face the mandatory death penalty.

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