9 Dec 2005

Singapore charges UK man over drugs

Singapore has charged a British man with cocaine trafficking after arresting him along with 12 other foreigners and a Singaporean in an anti-drug operation.

Management consultant Lionel Rudolf Zupancich, 45, faces up to 20 years in jail and 15 strokes of the cane if found guilty of trafficking in about 7 grams of cocaine, court documents showed.

Two other British people as well as seven Thais, a Malaysian, a Japanese, an American and a Singaporean were also arrested in a sting operation.

The arrests came days after Singapore's execution of convicted Australian heroin trafficker Nguyen Tuong Van drew outrage from Australia's government, and raised international appeals for the tightly controlled city-state to end its mandatory death penalty for those caught trafficking in certain amounts of some drugs, including heroin and marijuana.

Singapore investigators say Zupancich was also in possession of the synthetic drug ketamine.

It was not immediately clear if Zupancich or any of the other suspects have entered pleas.

Also, 33-year-old British construction supervisor Jason Taylor was charged with cocaine possession. He could be jailed up to 10 years if convicted.

Authorities seized a total of 21.38 grams of cocaine, 9.07 grams of methamphetamine and 3.75 grams of ketamine, as well as marijuana and Ecstasy from the 14 suspects, a statement from the Central Narcotics Bureau said.

Singapore has some of the world's toughest drug laws, including a mandatory death penalty for anyone caught with more than 15 grams of heroin or more than 500 grams of marijuana. Those convicted are hanged.

Court documents and the Central Narcotics Bureau statement named Thai woman Nipaporn Ton-sai, 28, as a drug syndicate leader and trafficker. She and her 31-year-old American boyfriend were arrested in Singapore's Orchard Road shopping area in Tuesday's sting operation. Nipaporn faces up to 20 years' jail if convicted.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

seems like search and destroy season. does singapore mark this day on their calendar?

chris said...

They have decided to work harder to justify their killing of people over the years. Expect to hear more of such reports, and look forward to a totally drug-free society!

clyde said...

They should have a public holiday for this. Where every Singaporean goes out with burning torches and parangs on a witch-hunt for drug traffickers. We'll call it Kill-em-all Day!

Oh wait a minute, wasn't the death penalty suppose to be an effective deterrent? More to the gallows!

Anonymous said...

oh wait.. they are well heeled expats, such talents! jail term at the most. LOL

Anonymous said...

great blog.. lots of sympathy for drugs traffickers.

ted said...

Oh nice, more anonmynous snides, no wonder LKY wanted to control the press.

spank me! said...

Well, ISNT'T it just so convenient and coincidental that just ALL of these well heeled executives are just carrying below the 15gms where mandatory death must take place????

Let me guess, in a few weeks/months time, a few of these "criminals" will be let out on bail and then "mysteriously" manage to absconded from the country while under the watchful eyes of the state

Anonymous said...

pls, there's already a flaw in the excuse that nguyen must be executed despite his unfortunate circumstances "so that the big druglords can't simply look for more similar ppl in desperate situations to traffick for them"...

they can always look for kids just below 18 which is the age where the mandatory death penalty applies, or keep going lower until what, the govt decides to apply the death penalty to a 7-year-old?? s'pore HAS NO BRAINS!!

shiok man! said...

I'm pleased that we have these ongoing anti-narcotic operations, and that the well-heeled are not spared. People should not confuse Singapore's opening up to be a cosmopolitan and globalized city-state with somehow the govt letting its guard down on the drug menace (especially as we head towards the establishment of IRs/casinos). Foreigners should be on notice from the word go that they are most welcome to come, work and stay in Singapore but on terms laid down by the laws of the land, and NOT on their terms or those laid down by their countries of origin. Otherwise, please don't come. I'm looking forward to seeing how this case unfolds. Really shiok man!

chris said...

"Well, ISNT'T it just so convenient and coincidental that just ALL of these well heeled executives are just carrying below the 15gms where mandatory death must take place????"

Hm... are you thinking that the authorities have tweaked the amount found so that they can handle these cases more easily?
Haha, I think its possible.

Anonymous said...

To chris,

No, I don't think the authorities would have tweaked the amount just because they were foreign talent in this case..

but I just want to point out that Singapore law in practice does in fact occasionally lessen charges if it deems it 'the right thing to do'. For example, if a person is caught with 16g of heroin, and the judge deems that the person does not deserve the death penalty, he may ask the prosecution to lower the charge to below 14g. This is in the power of the judge to do.

Apparently this is just how the system works. Note that this is second hand information for me (from a friend whose friend works as a policeman in the courts).

Anonymous said...

Oh,I see, what a fair and flexible system! Bravo.

chris said...

Yes definitely flexible.

but I just want to point out that Singapore law in practice does in fact occasionally lessen charges if it deems it 'the right thing to do'
Because...
All things are right, but some are more right.

Apparently I'm a little bit right about the tweakings...

Think Singaporean said...

Kind of discrimination practice, isn't it?