Residents surprised by 'drug house' in HDB flat as 3 arrested

Three men who allegedly broke into an empty flat in Toa Payoh and used it as a "drug house" have been arrested.

The men had been seen entering the unit several times in the past few months, evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.

They were arrested on Friday after a police operation at Block 2, Lorong 7, Toa Payoh at 4.47pm, police told The Sunday Times. A police spokesman said: "Three men aged between 17 and 33 were arrested for suspected drug-related offences, criminal trespass and theft."

Photos of the scene showed a wooden board covering a broken window beside the door. The inside of the flat was littered with personal items such as clothes, as well as several lighters and drug-related paraphernalia.

The flat appeared to have been empty for some time, Wanbao reported, but there was sparse furniture inside, including a fridge, and some kitchen utensils.

Police climbed into the flat during their raid, and among the items they retrieved was a knife.

Neighbours were surprised at the police operation and some were unaware that the flat was being used as a drug house. One woman told Wanbao that no one had lived in the flat for nearly two years. "There used to be an elderly man who lived there and he was very noisy, so we all knew about him," she said. "Later, he moved out and it became empty."

However, other neighbours said they recently noticed people walking in and out of the flat.

Police investigations are ongoing.

The number of students and professionals caught for drug offences has risen yearly, with more than 350 students caught for drug abuse over the past three years, while 70 professionals and managers were arrested for such offences last year, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said in April.

Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin said last Sunday that the number of drug abusers below the age of 30 has been "rising over the past years at a worrying rate".

Mr Amrin was speaking at the annual Anti-Drug Abuse Campaign where he launched two new anti-drug resources.

Lydia Lam

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 02, 2017, with the headline 'Residents surprised by 'drug house' in HDB flat as 3 arrested'. Print Edition | Subscribe