CNB seizes record amounts of cannabis, heroin

Most of 40kg haul - including other drugs - found in 22-year-old Malaysian man's home

Among the drugs seized by the Central Narcotics Bureau were pink Ecstasy pills shaped like Hello Kitty. CNB said it seized about 23.6kg of cannabis and 16.5kg of heroin - the largest since 1996 and 2001, respectively.
Among the drugs seized by the Central Narcotics Bureau were pink Ecstasy pills shaped like Hello Kitty. CNB said it seized about 23.6kg of cannabis and 16.5kg of heroin - the largest since 1996 and 2001, respectively.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) has seized more than 40kg of drugs including record amounts of cannabis and heroin, enough to feed the addiction of more than 12,400 drug abusers for a week.

The drugs are estimated to be worth more than $2.3 million.

Most of the haul was found in the home of a 22-year-old Malaysian man in the vicinity of Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4 last Friday.

The quantities of cannabis and heroin seized were the largest since 1996 and 2001, respectively.

During a press conference yesterday, CNB said it seized about 23.6kg of cannabis, 16.5kg of heroin, 2kg of Ice and some 110 Ecstasy tablets.

There were previous seizures of 33.4kg of cannabis in 1996 and 34.8kg of heroin in 2001.

In the latest operation, the suspect was arrested by CNB officers on the ground floor of a housing block and found with four bundles of cannabis.

The officers seized another eight bundles of heroin, two bundles of Ice and the Ecstasy tablets in his bedroom.

They also found 27 bundles of heroin and 20 bundles of cannabis in a duffel bag and a backpack in the storeroom of the unit.

The drugs were shown to the media during the press conference.

These included the pink Ecstasy pills, which were shaped like the popular Japanese cartoon character Hello Kitty.

Superintendent Aaron Tang, director of CNB's intelligence division, said that the total amount of drugs seized was enough to feed 7,880 heroin abusers, 1,160 Ice abusers and 3,380 cannabis abusers for a week.

"Singapore is not a drug-producing country," he said.

"We are surrounded by large drug supply regions around us, and there is a threat of drugs coming into Singapore and flooding our streets."

He added that this was why Singapore needed to be vigilant.

Assistant Commissioner Sng Chern Hong, CNB's deputy director for policy and administration, said the drug situation around the world was concerning.

"The fact is that internationally, or regionally, the drug situation is worsening," he said.

"Because of Covid-19, there are a lot of changes to the way the syndicates operate. Because of the restrictions and all that, we do see syndicates adopting different modus operandi."

AC Sng listed examples of other incidents last year where drugs were found in unexpected places. For example, drugs were found hidden in a papaya in September and in furniture in December, and were even couriered from Malaysia to Singapore via drone in June.

He added: "But regardless of how they change, we work closely with our counterparts, whether it's stepping up on checks or stepping up on intelligence."

Supt Tang said investigations into the recent record bust were ongoing, and CNB will continue to clamp down on drug offenders.

"Drug syndicates will continue to take their chances to smuggle drugs into Singapore, in order to profit from the addiction and misery of drug abusers," he said.

"CNB will continue to monitor the drug activities closely, and take prompt enforcement actions to neutralise the drug syndicates."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2021, with the headline 'CNB seizes record amounts of cannabis, heroin'. Subscribe