Published: 13 July 2015
Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the Ministry's assessment of the amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act made in 2012 in the gathering of information and intelligence against the masterminds behind the drug trafficking syndicates; and (b) how effective has it been in disrupting their drug trafficking activities within or outside Singapore.
1. The amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act in 2012 on the application of the death penalty to the offence of drug trafficking gave the court the discretion to decide whether to impose a sentence of life imprisonment and caning, or the death sentence for drug couriers who have provided substantive assistance to the CNB in disrupting drug trafficking activities within or outside Singapore. The "substantive assistance" condition is meant to enhance the operational effectiveness of the CNB in taking action against drug syndicates. It enables CNB investigations to reach higher into the hierarchy of such syndicates.
2. Since the changes were implemented, the information provided by drug couriers and joint collaboration with regional counterparts have led to the arrest of more than 40 drug traffickers and disrupted the operations of drug trafficking syndicates.
3. However, we recognise that the drug trafficking syndicates are constantly evolving their mode of operations to circumvent our laws. The new law has thus brought some successes, which have assisted CNB to maintain its tough and vigilant enforcement approach. We have a zero-tolerance approach against drugs and the measures we have taken – tough laws, robust enforcement and preventive drug education seek to tackle both the supply and demand for drugs. In doing so, we are able to keep the drug situation under control.