32 people arrested for alleged drug transactions on chat apps, including Telegram

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SINGAPORE – A total of 32 suspected drug offenders have been arrested in an island-wide operation by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) targeting drug transactions conducted via encrypted chat apps such as Telegram .

During the April 18-19 operation, drugs worth $140,000 were seized.

Officers seized approximately 191g of crystal meth, also known as Ice, 718g of cannabis, 714g of ecstasy tablets and two bottles of liquid suspected of containing gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB).

On April 18, CNB officers arrested a 26-year-old Singaporean man in the vicinity of Bukit Batok West on suspicion of involvement in drug dealings conducted on Telegram.

The man was escorted back to his residence in the same area, where a total of approximately 173g of crystalline material believed to contain ice, 488g of cannabis, 713g of ecstasy tablets, 51 tablets of Erimin-5, several LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) patches and a bottle of liquid suspected of containing GHB was seized.

A 24-year-old Singaporean man who later drove to the same residential unit was also arrested for alleged drug offences.

Supt Stanley Seah, deputy director of the intelligence division, said 50 drug trafficking suspects were arrested in November last year when CNB carried out a similar operation targeting drug transactions made on chat apps encrypted.

He said: “Drug offenders naively assume that these chat apps can offer them anonymity to facilitate their illegal activities, so they can evade detection from CNB, but they are wrong.

“This latest operation shows that CNB is not relenting in its efforts against drug addicted offenders, regardless of the methods they use to mask their activities.”

If someone is found guilty of trafficking more than 500g of cannabis, they can face the mandatory death penalty.

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