Man, 22, charged with synthetic drugs

Man, 22, charged with synthetic drugs

A 22-year-old man, who was one of two men arrested earlier this month for allegedly possessing synthetic cannabis, also known as K2, has been charged with drug trafficking.

Muhammad Faizal Tang Xiangwei, who first appeared in court on May 3, is accused of selling three packets of "fragmented vegetable matter" at about 8.10pm in Tampines Mall the previous day.

He has since been remanded for further investigations and is expected to return to court next week to answer to charges.

Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers arrested Tang and a 23-year-old man on May 2, the day after new laws kicked in making synthetic drugs - officially known as new psychoactive substances (NPS) - illegal.

This means someone using or trafficking in such substances, which mimic the effects of drugs like cocaine and cannabis, will be punished with the same penalties for Class A drugs from May 1.

More than 100 of these synthetic drugs are now classified as Class A controlled drugs, which are considered the most harmful and addictive drugs, and attract the most severe punishments and fines.

If found guilty, Tang could face a minimum of five years' jail and five strokes of the cane, or a maximum of 20 years behind bars and 15 strokes of the cane.

The CNB has said previously that it has seen an increase in the number of NPS trafficking and abuse cases in the past year in Singapore - a trend that has been seen globally as well.

"With the abuse and trafficking of NPS on the rise, listing these new substances as Class A controlled drugs signals our unequivocal stance that these are illegal and no different from other controlled drugs," said CNB director Ng Ser Song then.

This article was published on May 14 in The Straits Times.

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