Suspected leader of drug ring, traffickers arrested

The leader of a local drug trafficking syndicate and four other members were arrested and more than $166,000 worth of drugs was seized in an operation before dawn on Tuesday.

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said in a statement yesterday that officers nabbed a 34-year-old Singaporean man, believed to be the leader of a local drug syndicate, after spotting him in the vicinity of Punggol Drive.

The man was driving his car while his associate, a 38-year-old man, was seen in another car with a 45-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman. All of them are Singaporeans.

The syndicate leader attempted to escape when officers moved in to arrest them. Officers pursued the man in his car, which was subsequently found abandoned near Tebing Lane.

Following a search, they arrested the man under a bridge in Punggol Promenade Riverside Walk. Two packets of about 1kg of Ice, or methamphetamine, were discovered when officers retraced the man's escape route.

In a raid on the man's Punggol Drive home, they recovered another 243g of Ice, 516 Erimin-5 tablets, 390 Ecstasy pills and 200g of cannabis.

Meanwhile, a search of the man's car, as well as the residences of the other suspects, uncovered about 70g of cannabis, 50g of Ice, 2g of heroin, 23 Erimin-5 tablets, 2g of ketamine, two Ecstasy tablets and drug-related utensils.

CNB officers mounted a follow-up operation immediately and arrested another 42-year-old Singaporean man. About 82g of Ice, 70g of ketamine, 21 Ecstasy tablets, nine Erimin-5 pills and about 5g cannabis were found at his Punggol Field home.

Investigations into the drug activities of all the suspects are ongoing.

A CNB spokesman said the drug trafficking syndicate was "capable of distributing a significant amount of drugs to the local market".

The amount of Ice seized in this operation is able to feed the addiction of about 786 abusers for a week, while the amount of cannabis can feed the addiction of about 39 abusers for a week.

"CNB will continue its relentless efforts against drug traffickers who seek only to profit at the expense of our society by disregarding the destruction they cause to individuals and their families," the spokesman added.

Those found guilty of trafficking more than 250g of Ice face the death penalty.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2018, with the headline 'Suspected leader of drug ring, traffickers arrested'. Print Edition | Subscribe