Three drugs to be added to Misuse of Drugs Act

Drugs seized from a unit in Jalan Loyang Besar last Thursday during a four-day islandwide anti-drug operation.
Drugs seized from a unit in Jalan Loyang Besar last Thursday during a four-day islandwide anti-drug operation.PHOTO: CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU

Three drugs will be added to the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) with effect from tomorrow, making their trafficking, manufacture, import, export, possession or consumption illegal.

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said on Friday that one of the drugs is classified as a new psychoactive substance (NPS), while the other two are NPS metabolites.

NPS refers to substances which produce effects similar to those of controlled drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, Ecstasy, methamphetamine or heroin.

CNB said that there has been a rapid increase in the number, type and availability of NPS across the globe, many of which have been reported in overseas journals to have no licit medical uses. Their abuse has been linked to adverse physical and psychological reactions, including paranoia, seizures, hallucinations and even death.

CNB cited a February report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime-Synthetics Monitoring Analyses, Reporting and Trends (UNODC-Smart) Programme, which stated that from 2009 to December last year, a total of 892 different substances were detected and reported to the UNODC.

The three drugs will be listed in the first schedule of Singapore's MDA as Class A controlled drugs.

Any person found guilty of trafficking Class A controlled drugs will be jailed for at least five years and given five strokes of the cane.

They will also be liable for enhanced penalties if they re-offend or sell the drugs to young or vulnerable people.

Separately, CNB announced that 88 people were arrested and about $74,000 worth of drugs were seized in a four-day islandwide operation that ended on Friday.

The blitz, which covered areas including Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Chai Chee, Eunos, Sembawang, Tampines and Yishun, was supported by the Singapore Police Force. The drug activities of those arrested are being investigated.

Timothy Goh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 24, 2019, with the headline 'Three drugs to be added to Misuse of Drugs Act'. Print Edition | Subscribe