On 3 January 2022, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers foiled an attempt to smuggle 5.8kg of kratom leaves in an arriving Malaysia-registered lorry via the Woodlands Checkpoint. The detection prompted subsequent enforcement operations by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in which a total of five suspected male drug offenders, comprising a 33-year-old Singaporean and four Malaysians aged between 27 and 40, were arrested at multiple locations in Singapore over 3 and 4 January.
2. In the morning of 3 January, ICA officers noticed anomalies in the scanned images of the lorry conveying a consignment of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles. Upon further checks, a trash bag containing 22 bundles of about 5.8kg of kratom leaves was found in the lorry battery compartment. The 33-year-old Malaysian driver was immediately arrested and referred to CNB for investigation.
3. In a follow-up operation conducted on the same day, CNB officers arrested a 33-year-old Singaporean man and a 40-year-old Malaysian man in the vicinity of Pandan Loop. Subsequently, a 27-year-old Malaysian man was arrested in the vicinity. In another follow-up operation conducted in the afternoon of 4 January, CNB officers arrested a 31-year-old Malaysian man in a commercial building located in the vicinity of Beach Road.
4. Investigations into the drug activities and suspects are ongoing. Kratom contains ‘Mitragynine’ and ‘7-Hydroxymitragynine’, which are both Class A controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act. The importation of these Class A controlled drugs into Singapore is an offence that, upon conviction, carries a minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and 5 strokes of the cane.
5. Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore’s security. The ICA and CNB will continue to conduct security checks at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle undesirable persons, weapons, explosives, controlled drugs and other contrabands across our borders.
Annex A - Photographs of Kratom Leaves Seized
Photo 1 (ICA): The Malaysia-registered lorry subjected to further checks by ICA officers on 3 January 2022.
Photo 2 (ICA): ICA officers uncovered a trash bag containing 22 bundles of about 5.8kg of kratom leaves.
Photos 3 and 4 (CNB): Close up of the bundles of kratom leaves found in the battery compartment of a Malaysia-registered lorry on 3 January 2022.
Photo 5 (CNB): 22 bundles containing about 5.8kg of kratom leaves seized from a Malaysia-registered lorry on 3 January 2022.
Photo 6 (CNB): Close-up of one of the 22 bundles of kratom leaves seized from a Malaysia-registered lorry on 3 January 2022.
IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU
5 JANUARY 2022