Heroin hidden in cabbages; 4 men arrested may face death penalty

Bags of cabbage might seem innocuous enough but yesterday police busted an attempt to use the vegetable to traffick 3.6kg of heroin, estimated to be worth over $245,000.

A 46-year-old Singaporean man, along with three Malaysian men aged 25 to 32, were arrested in the sting. The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said this was its first case in which cabbage was used to hide drugs.

Officers were deployed in the area on information that a suspected drug trafficker would be receiving a drugs consignment in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 in the early morning. At about 5.45am, a white Malaysia-registered lorry arrived at the location.

Shortly after, the Singaporean walked up to the left side of the lorry and handed a plastic bag to one of the passengers, said the CNB. He received four plastic bags in return and the lorry moved off.

Anti-narcotics officers tailed the suspect to a nearby coffeeshop and arrested him there. Inside the plastic bags were eight cabbages which concealed bundles of heroin.

The Malaysia-registered lorry was later stopped at Woodlands Checkpoint at about 6.45am.

The three Malaysians who were in the vehicle were arrested. Cash amounting to $18,500 was found inside a plastic bag behind the driver's seat.

Investigations are ongoing. If convicted, the men could all face the death penalty.

The CNB said yesterday that it is committed to keeping Singapore safe from drugs, and that it will remain vigilant to drug smuggling.

Amir Hussain

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2015, with the headline 'Heroin hidden in cabbages; 4 men arrested may face death penalty'. Print Edition | Subscribe