SINGAPORE - A joint operation between Singapore and Malaysia has broken up a Johor-based drug syndicate, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said in a statement on Sunday (April 8).
About 14kg of heroin was seized and 16 people arrested as a result of the investigations, which the CNB carried out together with the Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) of the Royal Malaysian Police.
"We have managed to dismantle a drug syndicate that was supplying a sizeable amount of drugs to Singapore, and also prevented a large amount of drugs from flowing onto the streets of Singapore," said CNB director Ng Ser Song.
On April 3, both agencies received intelligence that a consignment of drugs would be coming into Singapore.CNB officers spotted two suspected drug traffickers - Singaporean men aged 45 and 55 - driving to Alexandra Retail Centre carpark later that day. Two other suspects - both Malaysian men in their 20s - arrived at the carpark on a motorbike shortly after.
All four men were arrested shortly after leaving the carpark in their respective vehicles. Police found about 470g of heroin in the car's glove compartment. They also recovered $2,500 from each of the Malaysians.
Following the arrests, police searched the workplace of one of the Malaysians - a 25-year-old man. They found about 2.4kg of heroin and 525g of "ice" or methamphetamine in his locker.
In the early evening, CNB officers arrested two more Singaporean men in a Choa Chu Kang supermarket. The suspects, who were in their 20s, were also believed to be associated with the syndicate. A small packet of ice was recovered from one of the men.
"Both had violently resisted arrest and necessary force was used to subdue them," said the CNB in its statement. "Two CNB officers sustained minor injuries in the process, and had received outpatient treatment."
The next day, Malaysia's NCID launched an operation against the Johor-based drug syndicate. They arrested 10 more people and seized 11.5kg of heroin and 61g of ice, as well as six cars.
Mr Ng said: "The fight against drugs must be fought with close cooperation between counterparts. No drug enforcement agency can do it alone."
The CNB said investigations are ongoing.
It estimated that the amount of heroin seized in Singapore alone is enough to feed the addiction of about 1,357 drug abusers for a week, while the ice seized could serve about 300 abusers for the same length of time. The estimated value of the heroin and ice seized here is about $347,000.
Anyone found guilty of trafficking more than 15g of pure heroin or 250g of methamphetamine faces the death penalty.