Warrior on the drug battlefield

Warrior on the drug battlefield

What you need

Entry requirements for Narcotics Officers in CNB:

Singapore citizen

Male applicants must have completed national service with medical fitness level of PES A or B

Physically fit

Good eyesight with normal colour vision

Have any of the following qualifications:

Diploma from a local polytechnic, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts or LASALLE College of The Arts

A levels certificate

International Baccalaureate Diploma

NUS High School Diploma

Higher National Institute of Technical Education Certificate (Higher Nitec)


At least 5 O-level passes including English and Maths

Career propects:

Narcotics Officers can look forward to developmental programmes, ranging from academic upgrading sponsorships to on-the-job training.

They will also get opportunities to gain exposure through various job postings.

Seeing people get arrested was common to him when he was growing up.

Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officer Desmond Chor, 29, grew up in a three-room HDB flat in Yishun, and late-night knocks on the door by police officers were nothing new.

Senior Staff Sergeant Chor, who has been at CNB since 2005, said: "After my national service, I planned to sign on as an officer in the SAF.

"But when I realised the real war on drugs was out there, and the drug labs were not far away from our shores, I decided to join CNB instead."

The poly grad has no regrets about his decision as every day is filled with new experiences.

Mr Chor said: "Every day brings on new cases, and every case is unique. There is no one type of case or from one kind of family background."

That realisation hit home three to four years ago.

"I have arrested people from such a diverse range of backgrounds, and it made me realise that drug offenders can come from any strata of society. We should not be too pre-occupied with the notion that drug offenders will more likely be from 'broken families' or from a 'low-income' background.

"Anything is possible in this age of technology, where everyone is well-connected," said Mr Chor.

He started his career as an investigation officer and was later promoted to become a team leader in charge of operations at Woodlands Checkpoint.


"I have seen desperate drug offenders who, when confronted by CNB officers at the checkpoints, suddenly make a run for it and leave their wives and kids behind in their cars.

"They can never outrun the officers, but that made me realise how desperate drug offenders can become."

"Seeing incidents like those also made me realise that one needs to have a strong heart to be a CNB officer," he added.

The main benefit he has gained from his career is an improvement in his interpersonal skills.

Mr Chor, whose wife works in a legal firm, said: "When I joined CNB, my parents had reservations at first as they were unsure of what the work of a CNB officer was like. But they - and my wife too - now appreciate what I am doing.

"In my line of work, I meet various people like lawyers, doctors and many families. I have to mingle with them in various ways and the interpersonal skills I have picked up help me in my work. They also help me understand my wife better.

"I also have the chance to mentor younger officers and teach them the ropes."

He is currently in the final semester of his bachelor's degree in electronics engineering at UniSIM, and he will be receiving 50 per cent reimbursement of the course fees from CNB, upon successful completion of the course.

Mr Chor said: "I advise people aspiring to join CNB to take note of the following: "Be prepared to move around and not have a desk-bound career.

"Have integrity, determination and courage to fight the war on drugs.

"Do not join CNB for the glamour, but instead view it as a chance to contribute to society."

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.