SINGAPORE — Immigration authorities on Monday (3 January) foiled an attempt to smuggle almost 6kg of kratom leaves into Singapore via Woodlands Checkpoint.
Subsequent enforcement operations by the Central Narcotics Bureau saw a total of five suspected male drug offenders – a 33-year-old Singaporean and four Malaysians aged between 27 and 40 – arrested at multiple locations on Monday and Tuesday.
Kratom contains Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine, which are both Class A controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act. According to the Mayo Clinic, while kratom leaves are often used in traditional medicine, it is also considered an opium substitute and there are many safety concerns about its use.
The importation of such controlled drugs into Singapore is an offence, which carries a minimum sentence of five years' jail and five strokes of the cane upon conviction.
On Monday morning, ICA officers noticed anomalies in the scanned images of a Malaysia-registered lorry conveying a consignment of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles.
Upon further checks, a trash bag containing 22 bundles of about 5.8kg of kratom leaves was found in the lorry's battery compartment. The 33-year-old Malaysian driver was then arrested and referred to CNB for investigations.
In a follow-up operation conducted on the same day, CNB officers arrested a 33-year-old Singaporean man and a 40-year-old Malaysian man in the vicinity of Pandan Loop. A 27-year-old Malaysian man was also arrested in the vicinity.
In another follow-up operation on Tuesday afternoon, a 31-year-old Malaysian man was arrested in a commercial building in the vicinity of Beach Road.
Investigations are ongoing.
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