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The Straits Times
Nov 7, 2022
A member of the local Omega secret society has been sentenced to eight years and nine months’ jail for his role in the drug trafficking trade his criminal group was involved in.
Muhammad Sufyan Ruslee, who was sentenced on Monday, was also given eight strokes of the cane after he was convicted of one count of drug trafficking under the Organised Crime Act.
The 32-year-old had, between March and June 2019, run a drug-selling operation at a Geylang coffee shop with three other members of the gang.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Chong Kee En said the group sold new psychoactive substances (NPS) including 5-fluoro-MDMB-PICA, a Class A drug. The synthetic cannabinoid is also known as “mushroom” or “butterfly” and produces similar effects as cannabis.
The court heard that Sufyan was recruited into the group in March 2019 by Hermanto Abdul Talib, 45, after he told the older man that he wanted to earn more money.
Sufyan’s role was to collect the drugs from a supplier known as Yunos every day. He then had to place the drugs in boxes attached to two bicycles parked near the coffee shop in Geylang.
Two other group members, 41-year-old Shafie Osman and Fadilah Haron, 53, would collect the drugs directly from Sufyan or retrieve them from the bicycle boxes. Shafie and Fadilah sold the drug packets to about 20 to 30 customers per day, for about $60 to $70 for each packet.
DPP Chong said that Sufyan earned about $20,000 from his involvement in the group’s activities.
On July 16, 2019, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) raided the Geylang coffee shop as part of an operation targeting those believed to be involved in the sale of NPS. A total of 60 packets of drugs were seized. Sufyan and the three group members were arrested later that day.
Hermanto was sentenced to 11½ years’ jail, eight strokes of the cane and a fine of $20,000 in September 2021. Shafie and Fadilah have also been given jail terms, fines and caning. They were convicted of other offences under the Organised Crime Act which were not stated in court documents.
On Monday, Sufyan asked for his sentence to be deferred to Feb 3, 2023 to settle family matters, which Senior District Judge Ong Hian Sun granted.
Those convicted of trafficking Class A drugs can be jailed for up to 20 years and receive up to 15 strokes of the cane. Those who consume or possess new psychoactive substances can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000.