A 63-year-old man was arrested at a Geylang Road hotel for trafficking new psychoactive substances (NPS), the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said yesterday.
Last Thursday, CNB officers raided a hotel room where the man, a Singaporean, was staying with his wife, a 49-year-old foreign national. A container was found in the room with about 250g of vegetable matter, believed to be tobacco stained with NPS.
NPS refers to substances which produce similar effects as controlled drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, Ecstasy, methamphetamine or heroin.
Other items found included rubbing alcohol, tobacco labels, a weighing scale, rolling papers and a printer.
Preliminary investigations found that the man adulterated or diluted the tobacco stained with NPS with other substances, including thinner and contact cement. He then repacked it into plastic packets for sale as normal tobacco at $40 per 20g packet.
Investigations into the man's drug activities are ongoing.
"Abusing NPS can be as dangerous as consuming controlled drugs, if not more, as the chemical compounds added to the substance are unknown and can cause serious health problems," Superintendent Cindy Goh, commanding officer at CNB's Enforcement G Division, told The Straits Times.
CNB reminded the public that abusing NPS can cause harm to one's mental and physical health.
Unknown chemical compounds added to the drugs can cause severe intoxication, seizures, renal failure and even death. Those who ingest, inhale or consume thinner or contact cement may suffer poisoning.