Mandatory Death Penalty for Controlled Drugs Trafficking in Singapore

Singapore is trying to keeps its image as a clean city and low crime rates, they have taken strict measures to prevent drugs being smuggled or trafficked in Singapore, especially when drugs is on a prominent note in neighboring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.  Moreover, other controlled drugs are being classified into Class A, Class B or Class C which will constitute to life imprisonment or caning. To be consider as trafficking under the Singapore Law, below are the stated quantity level if proved to be in possession with:

Drug Name Quantity
Opium > 100 grammes
Morphine > 3 grammes
Diamorphine (Heroin) > 2 grammes
Cannabis > 15 grammes
Cannabis Mixture > 30 grammes
Cannabis Resin > 10 grammes
Cocaine > 3 grammes
Methamphetamine > 25 grammes
Ketamine > 113 grammes
Phenethylamine (Methylenedioxy) > 10 grammes

The table below shows the list of controlled drugs and their offences based on Singapore Law. It is not limited only to trafficking, but as well manufacture of the drug or its salt, import or export of them.

Controlled Drug Death Penalty Min. 20 years jail and 15 strokes
Max. 30 years or life imprisonment and 15 strokes
Opium more than 1.2kg and contains more than 30g morphine not less than 800g and not more than 1,200g and contain no less than 20g morphine
Morphine more than 30g not less than 20g and not more than 30g
Diamorphine (Heroin) more than 15g not less than 10g and not more than 15g
Cocaine more than 30g not less than 20g and not more than 30g
Cannabis more than 500g not less than 330g and not more than 500g
Cannabis Mixture more than 1kg not less than 600g and not more than 1kg
Cannabis Resin more than 200g not less than 130g and not more than 200g
Methamphetamine more than 250g not less than 167g and not more than 250g

In 2012, a surprise move was taken by the government by announcing its plans to amend laws that dictate mandatory death penalty for drug traffickers and the new bill was passed down soon after with little opposition, The proposed new law give the court discretion to sentence convicts of drug-related crimes to life imprisonment and caning if they cooperate with the authorities in “substantive way”.

First Person to Escape Death Penalty for Drugs Trafficking in Singapore

Yong Vui Kong, a Malaysian, becomes the first person to be spare the gallows after the implementation of the new drug rules whom is sentenced to hang in 2009. Yong was caught in 2007 in Singapore when he was 19-year old and was charged with trafficking 47.27 grams of heroin. A judge ruled him as a drug courier instead of a major supplier or distributor for drugs which reduced his sentence to life imprisonment and 15 strokes of cane.

Source Reference

  1. Misuse of Drugs Act (Chapter 185)
  2. Reuters, 14th Nov 2013.

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