A Singaporean man has been sentenced to five years and four months’ imprisonment, with five strokes of the cane, after being found guilty of importing drugs.
Muhammad Dzulhilmi Bin Salimi, aged 32, arranged for the purchase of candies containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive component of cannabis, from a supplier in the United Kingdom.
Dzulhilmi used the messaging app Telegram to communicate with the supplier, paying for the drugs with Bitcoin through a third party.
As per the report, the case came to the attention of authorities when an Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer spotted irregularities in X-Ray images of the parcel and alerted the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB). Upon further inspection, it was revealed that the parcel contained 19 packets of drug-laced sweets.
Dzulhilmi pleaded guilty to three charges: importing drugs, consuming drugs, and possessing drug-related paraphernalia. He also admitted to growing cannabis plants at his flat in Bedok. The court heard that Dzulhilmi had made arrangements with a person named Nabil in the UK, who sold cannabis and THC-infused candies. Dzulhilmi ordered the candies and paid £200 (US$254) in Bitcoin through a mutual acquaintance named Omar.
Dzulhilmi instructed Nabil to keep one packet for himself and to repackage the remaining 19 packets to appear less suspicious. However, Nabil claimed that the packets did not require repackaging. Despite this, the parcel was flagged by ICA officers before it reached Dzulhilmi’s home in Singapore.
Upon confiscation of the parcel, Dzulhilmi attempted to sell four packets of the drug-laced sweets to his friends.
The CNB then arrested Dzulhilmi and conducted a search of his residence, where they found cannabis plants, loose cannabis, and drug-related paraphernalia. Dzulhilmi’s urine samples tested positive for a cannabinol derivative, confirming his recent consumption of cannabis.
During the trial, Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Lau requested a sentence of five to six years’ imprisonment and between five and six strokes of the cane for the drug importation offense, along with one year’s imprisonment for the drug consumption charge and three months’ imprisonment for possessing drug paraphernalia.
If convicted solely on the importation charge, Dzulhilmi could have faced up to 30 years in prison and 15 strokes of the cane.
The maximum penalties for drug consumption and possessing drug utensils are between one and ten years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to S$20,000 (US$15,000), or both, and up to three years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to S$10,000, or both, respectively.
The final sentence was determined by the court, taking into account Dzulhilmi’s intent to sell the drugs to his acquaintances and his past cultivation of cannabis plants. The judge delivered the sentence of five years’ imprisonment and five strokes of the cane, highlighting the severity of drug-related offenses in Singapore.
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