CNB works with partners to tackle online drug peddling

CNB said online drug peddling and the sale of drug-related items is not a new phenomenon.
CNB said online drug peddling and the sale of drug-related items is not a new phenomenon. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said it works with its partners such as the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Singapore Post to share information and conduct joint training to tackle the problem of online drug peddling.

Stressing that a high volume of items passes through Singapore's postal services, CNB said: "These help our partners to narrow their focus on certain shipments or look out for suspicious packages."

According to the latest figures revealed yesterday, the number of people arrested for buying drugs and drug-related paraphernalia online increased significantly from 30 in 2015 to 201 last year.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, CNB said online drug peddling and the sale of drug-related items is not a new phenomenon.

It added: "CNB has been monitoring the online drug peddling and sale of drug-related paraphernalia situation for the past few years.

"We are highlighting it this year as a trend to watch as the numbers have increased. This trend could also be attributed to the ease and comfort of people purchasing things online."

CNB also said it works closely with its counterparts at ICA and courier companies to detect parcels suspected of containing drugs or drug paraphernalia.

If suspicious parcels are detected and suspected to contain controlled drugs, the bureau will conduct the necessary investigations and carry out the necessary enforcement action.

CNB said it continues to step up its enforcement efforts to prevent the inflow of drugs.

It added: "We know that our efforts send a strong signal to those who think they can hide behind the Internet to commit crimes."

Just last Friday, an unemployed man was jailed for five years and eight months, and given 10 strokes of the cane, after pleading guilty to two counts of drug consumption.

Nicholas Chee Li- Yong, 28, also admitted to one count each of drug importation, trafficking and possession.

He had ordered the drugs online and had them mailed to him via post - disguised as everyday items.

Chee's ruse was uncovered on Jan 22 last year, when an ICA officer at the ICA parcel post section in Eunos Road found a parcel from the United States marked "Stussy logo tank top".

The parcel contained cannabis and was addressed to Chee's virtual office business mailing address in Robinson Road. CNB was alerted, and when officers raided his home in Dalvey Road, they found an assortment of drugs, including cocaine and opium.

Three other parcels addressed to him were detected at the ICA parcel post section and the Singapore Post Jalan Lembah Kallang delivery base between Jan 28 and Feb 3 last year.

They were found to contain items such as glass apparatus and two plastic packets of cannabis.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2017, with the headline 'CNB works with partners to tackle online drug peddling'. Print Edition | Subscribe