$680,000 in cash, $150,000 worth of cough syrup seized in biggest illegal codeine bust since 2019

Six men, aged between 37 and 61, are being investigated following a multi-agency enforcement operation targeting a suspected illegal codeine syndicate conducted from June 14 to 16.

Carried out by Bedok Police Division and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), the operation was the biggest involving illegal codeine syndicates since 2019.

More than $680,000 in cash, approximately 190 litres of codeine cough syrup in canisters worth about $150,000 in street value, an assortment of pills, 34 e-vaporisers and eight packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.

The codeine would have fed the addiction of about 1,000 addicts if sold on the streets.

The syndicate allegedly supplied unregistered health products such as cough syrup and medicines. Their illegal activities were conducted at various locations across Singapore, including the vicinity of Lorong 34 Geylang, and at a licensed clinic in Bishan.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the supply of codeine was allegedly obtained from the clinic in Bishan before being processed for illegal sale in Geylang at a residential unit at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 3.

Of the six men, four were arrested as suspected members of an unlawful society under the Societies Act 1966 and are being investigated for further offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act 1992.

Those found guilty of importing, manufacturing and/or supplying of unregistered health products, may be liable to an imprisonment term for up to two years and/or fined up to $50,000.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is investigating the clinic in Bishan, and will take necessary enforcement actions if the investigations detect any breaches to the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act. The medical practitioner will also be referred to the Singapore Medical Council should any professional lapses be found.

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