Large haul of sleeping pills at checkpoint

Large haul of sleeping pills at checkpoint
Nitrazepam and Midazolam tablets seized by officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA)

SINGAPORE - More than 90,000 sleeping pills were seized from a Singapore-registered car at the Woodlands Checkpoint last Saturday.

The car, driven by a 38-year-old Singaporean man, had been stopped by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at about 6.30pm for a routine check after it arrived at the checkpoint from Malaysia.

Slabs of tablets were found hidden in a modified compartment between the car boot and the car's back seat, the ICA said in a statement yesterday.

A total of 4,500 slabs, each containing 20 tablets of Nitrazepam, and four slabs of 10 Midazolam tablets each, were seized and sent to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for further investigations.

The driver is also being investigated by the HSA.

Nitrazepam and Midazolam fall under a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which are drugs typically prescribed by doctors for sleep and anxiety disorders.

If taken over a long period in large quantities, benzodiazepines can be addictive.

Midazolam is also an ingredient in the prescription-only sleeping pill, Dormicum.

Some drug abusers mix Dormicum with Subutex, used to wean drug addicts off heroin, before injecting it into their bodies.

Benzodiazepines are listed under the Poisons Act and it is an offence to import or sell substances listed in the Act without the required licences from the HSA.

The penalty is a fine of up to S$10,000, a jail term of up to two years, or both.


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