SINGAPUR: An autonomous delivery driver has been sentenced to death for heroin traffic, which said that his "friend" had told him that they were smuggling cigarettes.
In his decision motives published Wednesday (April 10), judge Hoo Sheau Peng rejected the defense of Mohamed Shalleh Abdul Latiff and said that charges against him had been proven beyond reasonable doubt.
On August 11, 2016, Mohamed Shalleh was arrested after an operation by officers of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB).
Although they were observed by the CNB officers, Mohamed Shalleh met with Khairul Nizam Ramthan and received some articles in exchange for $ 7,000. Then, the CNB officers locked the two men before stopping them.
Mohamed Shalleh was arrested on Mei Ling Street, while Khairul Nizam was arrested at Woodlands Checkpoint.
After exploring the car of Mohamed Shalleh, the officers found an orange plastic bag that contained a box, which had two packages of crystalline substances.
They also found on the floor of the passenger seat three packages that were roughly palm-shaped, round and irregularly shaped.
It was found that these beams contained around 54 g of diamorphine, also known as heroin. According to the Law on drug abuse, the death penalty is mandatory if the amount of imported diamorphine is greater than 15 g.
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Mohamed Shalleh kept in his statements that he thought he only delivered smuggling cigarettes on behalf of a friend called "Bai", who owed him a debt. The delivery was supposedly fixed by Bai, which would discount an amount of Mohamed Shalleh's debt.
According to his statements, this was the second time Mohamed Shalleh helped Bai to deliver smuggling cigarettes.
The driver said that "he believed and trusted Bai" because he was a friend and had treated the smuggling cigar business.
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He met Bai in jail in 2008, but he lost contact shortly thereafter. The next time he would meet with Bai, he would meet at the Kranji Turf Club between April, May 2014 and August 2014, when he made bets with Bai, who worked there as a bet.
Mohamed Shalleh charged a debt of $ 7,000 to $ 8,000 in Bai and lost contact. But in January 2016, the couple would meet in a wedding of a common friend, when Bai demanded the return.
The driver offered to pay the bill through S $ 200 every week, and made a total of six installments, before accepting to help Bai with the delivery of "smuggling cigarettes."
In the second installment, when Mohamed Shalleh was captured, Bai had delivered $ 7,000 to Mohamed Shalleh through a mailbox.
He was ordered to spend money on Malaysian man and picked up "two cartons and half smuggling cigarettes" in return.
"The accused was aware that he was having a risk of helping Bai on both occasions. The accused believed that the risk was a potential fine," Justice Hoo wrote in his motives.
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The judge said that he found the defense of Mohamed Shalleh unsatisfactory due to inconsistencies in how to represent his relationship, as well as the insistence of Mohamed Shalleh that he believed the packages contained cigarettes.
"During the counter-interrogation, the accused admitted that he did not know the basic details, such as the real name of Bai or his address," said Judge Hoo, pointing out that Mohamed Shalleh's defense "provided support weak to the firm statement of the accused of trusting Bai ".
"In other words, the defendant's interaction with Bai consisted in little more than responding to circumstances, unlawful transactions and possibilities. It was doubtful that the accused confessed to Bai in the degree that he goes affirm ".
Mohamed Shalleh's story about the articles found on his vehicle was also contradicted by the findings of the CNB officers.
He claimed that the beams "were never visible to him," as they were inside the orange plastic bag, but the beams were placed "quite separated" from the bag when the CNB officers found him at the counter of the car of Mohamed Shalleh. Justice Hoo noted that the police's conclusions were "a significant issue".
"As the three beams were exposed to the floor board, the accused would have seen their appearance. Their round and irregular shape would have aroused the suspicion that they contained something besides cigarette cards," he said. he wrote in his motives.
Given the possibility that he had seen the round form of the three packages, Mohamed Shalleh insisted that he believed that they contained cigarettes, as it was possible that the cigarettes would be packed in smaller packages again.
"This statement was not safe. The accused was given specific instructions from Bai to expect them to receive two cigarette and half cigarettes," said Judge Hoo.
"If the defendant saw the three beams, which I could not visually verify as cartridge cases awaited for two and a half, I did not believe that the accused had still accepted the receipt of the articles while resigning at the same time. $ 7,000 included on the man of Malaysia. "
"After having reviewed the tests in its entirety, I found that the accused did not show any single circumstance that would justify the high level of confidence in Bai, and I did not have the certainty that he trusted the information presumably given by Yes, "concluded Judge Hoo.
Mohamed Shalleh has filed an appeal against the conviction and sentence.