S'pore-M'sia bust drug syndicate, S'porean leader arrested
He faced drug consumption charges in Singapore, but absconded while out on bail in 2011.
The 46-year-old Singaporean man fled to Malaysia, leaving behind his family, including his son.
The recalcitrant abuser quickly became the alleged leader of a large drug syndicate that was active on both sides of the Causeway.
But he was stopped when Malaysia's Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) arrested him in Johor Baru on Wednesday.
With his capture, anti-narcotics agencies from Singapore and Malaysia managed to smash the syndicate after more than two years of working together.
The New Paper understands that it was one of the biggest syndicates busted by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB ).
Yesterday, the CNB said the Malaysia-based syndicate was believed to be capable of supplying about 4.5kg of heroin and about 500g of methamphetamine, commonly known as "Ice", to Singapore every week.
The CNB spokesman said: "4.5kg of heroin and 500g of 'Ice' could feed the addiction of about 2,100 heroin addicts and 280 'Ice' addicts per week."
CNB's intelligence division director, Mr Lim Fung Suan, added that the drugs were smuggled into Singapore via Malaysia-registered vehicles such as motorcycles and cars.
Mr Lim also said the CNB started investigations into the syndicate's trafficking activities in December 2012.
In 14 operations, it managed to arrest 40 drug offenders - both Singaporeans and Malaysians - who were linked to it. They included drug consumers and traffickers.
Officers also seized drugs including about 8kg of heroin, about 1.7kg of "Ice" and about 1.9kg of cannabis in the operations. Their estimated street value is more than $870,000.
On Monday, CNB and NCID launched a three-day operation.
CNB officers arrested 13 more offenders in Singapore, including six suspected traffickers. The drugs they seized in this operation are estimated to be worth more than $70,000.
Their Malaysian counterparts nabbed the Singaporean alleged syndicate leader and his associates in Johor Baru.
NCID officers also raided the syndicate's drug store and seized a stash that included 580g of heroin, 370g of "Ice" and 150 Ecstasy tablets. They also seized RM48,280 (S$18,300) in cash.
This operation was part of CNB's ongoing effort to tackle the regional drug problem with their Malaysian counterparts.
Responding to queries from The New Paper, Johor police chief Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said the Malaysian police will be holding a press conference on the case in Johor Baru tomorrow.
For now, he declined to reveal details about the Singaporean man.
"4.5kg of heroin and 500g of 'Ice' could feed the addiction of about 2,100 heroin addicts and 280 'Ice' addicts per week."
- Central Narcotics Bureau spokesman