Man gets jail, caning for bringing in drugs via mail

A parcel mailed from across the Causeway contained a metal box disguised as a book.

However, its contents were anything but literary, and it caught the eye of immigration officers at the Singapore Post Centre's screening area in December 2014.

Inside the "book" were packets of a powdery substance and tablets, which were later found to be the controlled drugs Ecstasy and ketamine.

Central Narcotics Bureau officers went to the address on the parcel and arrested Muhammad Emmil Syafiq Norman, 26, in his Marsiling home later that day. He admitted to buying the "book" via online shopping portal Qoo10 in an attempt to conceal illegal items and have them sent to him in the mail.

Yesterday, he was sentenced to six years and four months in jail, and 12 strokes of the cane.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of importing a controlled drug and one count of having drug-taking utensils. Another six charges of importing a controlled drug were taken into consideration during sentencing.

A district court heard that Emmil Syafiq first met a drug dealer known as "Ah Beng" when he went to a club in Malaysia in June 2014.

Around November that year, Emmil Syafiq handed the drug dealer the parcel and $800 in cash. Ah Beng was to mail the drugs back to him.

The delivery arrived in Singapore on Dec 4, 2014. There were 299 tablets of Ecstasy - about 34g - and two packets of ketamine, or about 66g.

Emmil Syafiq also admitted to importing drugs the same way on a previous occasion, between Nov 10 and Nov 20 that year. That time, he ordered six different drugs, including Ice and Erimin-5.

A plastic item for consuming drugs found in his room also tested positive for traces of ketamine.

For importing the controlled Class A drugs Ecstasy and ketamine, Emmil Syafiq could have been jailed for 30 years and given 15 strokes of the cane for each charge.

Amir Hussain

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2016, with the headline 'Man gets jail, caning for bringing in drugs via mail'. Print Edition | Subscribe