Singapore says men shot, caught near summit were alleged drug dealers

Singapore says men shot, caught near summit were alleged drug dealers

SINGAPORE - Two Singaporeans arrested after a deadly encounter with police outside a hotel where Pentagon chief Ashton Carter was staying were alleged heroin traffickers, officials said Monday.

The three-day Shangri-La Dialogue attended by the US defence secretary and counterparts from around the world was briefly placed under lockdown Sunday after police opened fire at a car carrying three local men as they tried to crash through a barricade outside.

The driver was killed on the spot. The conference, named after the luxury hotel that hosts the heavily guarded annual gathering, resumed without incident after police ascertained there was no terrorist threat.

On Monday the two passengers, Mohamed Bin Ismail, 31, and Mohammad Syahid Bin Mohamed Yasin, 26, were charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act with "having in your possession for the purpose of trafficking... three packets weighing approximately 9 grams of granular/powdery substances believed to contain diamorphine" (heroin), according to court documents.

The dead driver was identified as 34-year-old Mohamed Taufik Bin Zahar.

In a statement on Facebook, police said Taufik was "wanted for failing to attend court for an offence of criminal intimidation and has drug-related antecedents as well as other criminal records".

The two passengers also have "drug-related antecedents and criminal records," while Ismail was wanted for drug-related offences and failing to stop at a roadblock, the statement said.

It said the driver had stopped the vehicle at a security checkpoint, but upon questioning by police "suddenly accelerated the vehicle towards the police officers, in the direction of Shangri-La Hotel".

"Despite repeated warnings to stop, the vehicle continued to drive dangerously across the security checkpoint and headed towards the secured venue," the police statement said.

"Officers fired at the vehicle to stop it from causing harm to others and from proceeding further." Anyone convicted of trafficking more than 15 grams of heroin can be sentenced to death by hanging.

If convicted, Ismail and Syahid face a minimum punishment of five years in jail and five strokes of the cane, and a maximum of 20 years in jail and 15 strokes of the cane, according to charge sheets.

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