On Assignment
Lifting the Lid: Up Close and Personal with a Midnight Raid
Home Team News went “undercover” on a Central Narcotics Bureau raid on a night spot in the wee hours of 12 July 2017.

“BANG!”

The heavy steel doors of the nightspot were pried opened by Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers, who swooped in with full force and proceeded to conduct checks at the establishment.

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CNB officers searching a patron for illicit substances and drug paraphernalia during the raid. PHOTO: Aizil A Rahim 


Instead of being sound asleep in the warm comfort of my bed, an assignment to cover the raid landed me right behind the CNB officers. My objective was to catch a glimpse behind-the-scenes as to what really goes on during an anti-drug raid.

The raid took place in the wee hours of 12 July 2017. Speaking to me before the raid, the officers were calm and collected. Some even advised on what to expect once we arrived at the location. As we drew closer to our destination, my nervousness grew.

What was waiting for us behind the heavy steel doors of the nightspot? The sense of danger was palpable and if not for the reassuring presence of the CNB officers, I would have bowed out.

So what really went down that night?

As the patrons eyed them warily, the CNB officers moved swiftly to spread out and secure the premises before breaking up into teams to verify the patrons’ identities. While doing so, the officers were also on the lookout for tell-tale signs of drug abuse and searched patrons’ belongings for illicit substances and drug paraphernalia.

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CNB officers checking the night spot patrons’ belongings for suspicious substances during the raid. PHOTO: Aizil A Rahim


During the bag checks, several tense moments arose when a few patrons became aggressive - shouting and snarling at the CNB officers.  Despite this, the officers kept their composure and maintained their professionalism while they continued to carry out their duties.

As the raid progressed, some patrons were subjected to more stringent searches, and the night culminated with five patrons being taken aside for further tests.

The five were subsequently arrested for suspected drug abuse and taken away for further tests and questioning.

While the night was over for me, the Home Team News observer, the day’s work was not over for the CNB officers just yet – as they had to begin investigations on the five arrested individuals.


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One of the suspected drug abusers being led out of the club at the end of the raid. PHOTO: Aizil A Rahim


To be able to see anti-drug enforcement up close was an eye-opening experience. The planning, execution and conclusion of the raid was carried out with precision and utmost professionalism by the officers.

Throughout the entire raid, the CNB officers took it as a typical day’s work, never breaking their stride and remaining committed to their duty throughout.

I witnessed first-hand how dedicated our CNB officers were in their roles, and I went home with a renewed appreciation of our Home Team officers who work tirelessly through the day to keep Singapore safe and secure. I fell asleep upon reaching home, knowing that we were all in safe hands.

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Jaiesh Sachi
  2. 16 August 2017
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