Against the backdrop of a worsening regional drug situation, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) seized a record $18.3 million worth of drugs last year. This is 14 per cent higher than the $16 million worth of drugs seized in 2011. In particular, CNB seized a record 50.81kg of crystal methamphetamine ('Ice') in 2012, more than 31/2 times higher than what was seized in 2011. Of this, about 43kg or 85 per cent of it was not intended for the local market.
In its annual drug report released on Monday, the agency said the regional drug situation "remains unfavourable", and attributed the increased seizures to intensified enforcement efforts. CNB conducted 49 major operations in 2012, dismantling 22 drug syndicates. "Methamphetamine production in the East and Southeast Asia region continue to set record highs, as with poppy cultivation," said CNB director Ng Ser Song. "If left unchecked, all these drugs will flow throughout the region and destroy many."
The number of drug abusers arrested in 2012 also increased 5 per cent to 3,481, from 3,326 in 2011. More than two-thirds of these are repeat offenders, who continue to make up the bulk of those arrested. The number of repeat offenders arrested last year increased nine percent from 2011.
The number of new abusers nabbed fell 4 per cent to 1,084, although they still make up a third of the total number arrested by the CNB. But while 67 per cent of these new abusers arrested are 29 years old and under, those below the age of 20 dropped 30 per cent to 159.