Shangri-La shooting: Duo charged with heroin trafficking

Shangri-La shooting: Duo charged with heroin trafficking

TWO passengers in the car that crashed through security barriers near Shangri-La Hotel in the wee hours of Sunday, prompting the police to shoot the driver, were charged with heroin trafficking yesterday.

Mohamed Ismail, 31, and Muhammad Syahid Mohamed Yasin, 26, were both charged with possessing three packets of the drug weighing approximately 9g in total, for the purpose of trafficking.

District Judge Jasbendar Kaur granted the prosecution's application to remand both men for a week for investigations into possible further offences.

Ismail, who was wounded during the incident but was conscious when taken to hospital, was charged via videolink from the Singapore General Hospital. After he is discharged, he will be remanded at the Police Cantonment Complex.

Their case will be heard again next Monday morning.

The duo were arrested after the driver of the red Subaru Impreza they were in made a run for it when police asked to check the car boot, crashing the vehicle through police barricades.

The area around Shangri-La Hotel had been placed under a tight security net, as the hotel was hosting a major security summit attended by defence ministers and security chiefs.

The police opened fire on the vehicle. The car, which had a single bullet hole in the front windscreen, came to a stop on a grass patch barely 250m from the hotel entrance. The driver, Mohamad Taufik Zahar, 34, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the dead man was wanted for failing to attend court for an offence of criminal intimidation. He also had previous drug-related offences and criminal records.

Ismail was also wanted for drug-related offences and for failing to stop at another roadblock. Both he and Syahid had previous drug-related offences and criminal records.

In a statement yesterday, the police said the Special Investigation Section of the Criminal Investigation Department is investigating Taufik's death.

"All shooting cases are treated seriously and will be thoroughly investigated by the police," it added.

If convicted, Ismail and Syahid face a minimum of five years' jail and five strokes of the cane.

They could be jailed for 20 years and receive up to 15 strokes of the cane.

Under the law, anyone in possession of more than 2g of heroin is presumed to have it for the purpose of trafficking, until otherwise proven.

Those in possession of more than 15g of the drug could face the death penalty.

amirh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 2, 2015.
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Correction note: An earlier version of the story stated the name of man who was shot dead as Mohamed Taufik Zahar instead of Mohamad Taufik Zahar. This has been corrected.

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