Man who imported drug-laced sweets from UK and grew cannabis plants in flat gets jail, caning

Singapore: A man imported candies containing drugs from a person in the United Kingdom, arranging for the purchase through Telegram and paying in Bitcoin through a third party.

However, an Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer spotted anomalies while checking X-Ray images of the parcel and flagged the case to the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB).

Muhammad Dzulhilmi Bin Salimi, a 32-year-old Singaporean man, was sentenced to five years and four months’ jail, with five strokes of the cane on Monday (Dec 18).

He pleaded guilty to three charges of importing drugs, consuming drugs and possessing a drug utensil in the form of a glass bong.

A fourth charge of growing cannabis plants at a flat in Bedok was taken into consideration.

The court heard that Dzulhilmi got to know someone he called Nabil, who lived in the United Kingdom and sold cannabis and sweets containing tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis.

Tetrahydrocannabinol is a Class A controlled drug in Singapore.

Sometime before Oct 19, 2022, Dzulhilmi ordered 20 packets of sweets containing tetrahydrocannabinol from Nabil, paying him £200 (US$254) in Bitcoin through a friend named Omar.

Dzulhilmi told Nabil to keep one packet for himself and repack the remaining 19 packets to look less suspicious.

He asked Nabil to then ship the 19 packets to Dzulhilmi’s home in Singapore. Nabil told him that the packets looked fine and that there was no need to repack them.

Nabil then shipped a parcel containing the 19 packets of drug-laced sweets to Singapore as registered mail.

Before receiving the parcel, Dzulhilmi arranged to sell four packets of the sweets to his friends.

On Oct 19, 2022, an ICA officer at the parcel post section of ICA, Singapore Post Centre, spotted anomalies in X-Ray images of the parcel.

After further screening, the parcel was seized and handed over to CNB.

CNB officers arrested Dzulhilmi later that same day at his home. They also seized cannabis plants, loose cannabis and other drug-related paraphernalia from his room.

Urine samples taken from Dzulhilmi were found to contain a cannabinol derivative, and he admitted to consuming cannabis about a day ago.

The 19 packets in the parcel were taken for analysis and found to contain sticky candies and gummies which contained cannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinol.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Lau asked for five to six years’ jail and five to six strokes of the cane for the drug importation offence, one year’s jail for drug consumption and three months’ jail for possessing a drug utensil.

He left the total sentence to the discretion of the court.

Mr Lau said the accused did not purely import the drugs for his own consumption but had arranged to sell them to his friends.

He added that Dzulhilmi has a charge taken into consideration for cultivating three cannabis plants.

For importing a Class A controlled drug, he could have been given up to 30 years’ jail, with 15 strokes of the cane.

For consuming drugs, he could have been jailed between one and 10 years, fined S$20,000 (US$15,000), or both.

For possessing a drug utensil, he could have been jailed up to three years, fined S$10,000, or both.