Officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) intercepted a parcel coming into Singapore from Vietnam that may have contained Class A controlled drugs, among others.
According to a March 6 press release from ICA, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), this led to preliminary investigations that uncovered an apartment allegedly used to manufacture and store illicit medicines.
On March 1, ICA officers noticed anomalies in the scanned images of the incoming parcel that was labelled "medicine".
Further checks revealed that it contained 200 vials, believed to contain 20mg of fentanyl.
Fentanyl is an opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Abuse of the substance causes nausea, drowsiness, respiratory depression, low blood pressure, a slow heart rate.
Due to its potency, it has a heightened risk of overdosing and death. Fentanyl and its derivatives are listed as a Class A controlled drug.
According to the Misuse of Drugs Act, the unauthorised trafficking of a Class A drug is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane.
In addition to the fentanyl, the package also contained other illicit medicines, including:
- 40 vials labelled as midazolam
- 300 tablets labelled as gabapentin
- 400 tablets labelled as codeine phosphate
- 3,990 tablets labelled as diazepam
CNB and HSA search
The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) then conducted a follow-up operation on the same day, and checked out the person who was supposed to receive the parcel, a 30-year-old Singapore Permanent Resident.
The 30-year-old woman was arrested near Beach Road. Two other Singaporean men, aged 25 and 62, were also arrested.
All three suspects were then escorted to their "hideout", an apartment nearby. CNB conducted a search and called in the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).
The search turned up the following items:
- 16 litres of cough syrup in canisters and bottles
- Over 4,500 unlabelled tablets and pills
The total "street value" of these substances is valued at around S$9,300.
In addition, the authorities found and seized instruments used for mixing and rebottling, such as a high-speed industrial blender, funnels and measuring containers.
Preliminary investigations found that the apartment was allegedly used to illegally manufacture and store cough syrup and medicines.
Investigations into the drug activities of all the suspects are ongoing.
The possession, consumption, importation or trafficking of any controlled drug is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Anyone who imports, manufactures and / or supplies illegal health products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 2 years and / or fined up to S$50,000 under the Health Products Act.
Top image from press release.