36 suspects arrested over drug activities carried out via Telegram, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

36 suspects arrested over drug activities carried out via Telegram

A total of 36 people have been arrested for suspected involvement in drug activities conducted through encrypted chat application Telegram.

In a statement on April 6, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said they were arrested during a raid on April 2. Drugs worth around $19,000 were seized.

The drugs included 333g of cannabis, 13g of methamphetamine, also known as Ice, 5g of ketamine, 1g of heroin, 42 Erimin-5 tablets, two Ecstasy tablets and 65 vape devices suspected to contain tetrahydrocannabinol.

Tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis.

A 32-year-old woman and 26-year-old man, both suspected drug traffickers, were among those arrested.

The woman was arrested at her home in Compassvale Drive in Sengkang, where officers recovered around 123g of cannabis and drug paraphernalia from her bedroom.

The man was arrested at his home in Bedok North Street 3, and around 107g of cannabis and drug paraphernalia were seized.

“Those who think they can carry out their drug activities with impunity by using chat applications such as Telegram will do well to think again,” said CNB’s director of intelligence, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Aaron Tang.

He added that CNB will not be deterred from carrying out enforcement against such offenders just because of the anonymity that such applications offer.

“In fact, we will redouble our efforts to track them down and bring them in, whatever application they are using.”

Statistics released by the CNB in February showed that more than half of new drug abusers arrested in 2023 were below age 30. Among them were five 14-year-olds, who were the youngest abusers to be arrested.

There was also a rise in the number of female drug abusers, with 454 arrested in 2023, compared with 408 in 2022.

In March, drugs worth $555,000 were seized in an islandwide raid in which 64 suspected drug offenders were arrested, including four Singaporean teenagers aged between 17 and 19.

It is an offence to traffic or offer to traffic in a controlled drug, regardless of whether the person is doing it for himself or on behalf of another person, and whether or not the latter is in Singapore.

Investigations into the drug activities of all the arrested suspects are ongoing, said CNB.