Singapore sweep snares 32 Telegram drug deal suspects

At left, a suspect being taken away, and stashes of cannabis and ecstasy pills seized, at right. Photos: Central Narcotics Bureau
At left, a suspect being taken away, and stashes of cannabis and ecstasy pills seized, at right. Photos: Central Narcotics Bureau

Drug enforcement agents said today they have rounded up 32 individuals this week involved in trafficking narcotics over Telegram.

The Central Narcotics Bureau said the suspects were arrested as part of an island-wide drug bust targeting the sale of drugs such as ice, cannabis, and ketamine through chat applications.

“Drug offenders naively assume that these chat applications can afford them the anonymity to facilitate their illegal activities, so that they can evade CNB’s detection but they are wrong,” the bureau’s Superintendent Stanley Seah said in a news release.

Drug-dealing Singaporean Instagram accounts shut down by the dozens

The two-day operation which started Monday interdicted drugs worth about S$140,000.

The bureau detailed some stats from its haul that would make an EDM festival blush: 191 grams of meth, 718 grams of weed, 4 grams of Special K, 4 grams of coke, 714 grams of Molly, multiple LSD stamps, 201 benzo tablets, and two bottles of GHB. 

They were seized in multiple areas including Bukit Panjang, Compassvale, Jurong West, and Sembawang.

One led to the Monday evening arrest of an unidentified 26-year-old Singaporean man who was allegedly dealing via Telegram from his Bukit Batok West flat, where most of the drugs were found. On the same day, an unlucky 24-year-old Singaporean man who visited the same flat was also arrested for suspected drug offenses. 

Photo: Central Narcotics Bureau

Photos by the bureau showed several stashes of Ecstasy tablets, marijuana, and a Rick and Morty bong.

Despite Singapore’s strict laws, drugs continue to be sold somewhat openly online. In 2020, a Coconuts report led to the shut down of at least 50 Instagram accounts linked to a Telegram store selling products like Bob Marley’s “favorite weed” and ecstasy pills with the Tesla logo.

The punishment if found guilty of trafficking more than 500 grams of cannabis is death. 

Most of the inmates on death row are drug offenders. Hundreds gathered at a protest earlier this month to abolish capital punishment in such cases.

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