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First arrests made in Singapore for possession of New Psychoactive Substances

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore announced yesterday the first arrests made following the listing of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) as Class A controlled drugs on Thursday, under the First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act. The suspects, two unnamed male Singaporeans, aged 22 and 23, were reportedly arrested at a shopping center in Tampines on Friday evening for possession of synthetic cannabis, also known as “K2”. Authorities recovered 71.7 g of the drug from the suspects.

Under suspicion from the CNB that the 22-year-old suspect was engaged in trafficking of the illegal substance, a further search of his home yielded an additional 22.3 g of synthetic cannabis, raising the total amount of the drug confiscated following the arrests to 94 g.

Synthetic cannabis, listed as an NPS, and known as a “legal high”, is one of a group of designer drugs created to stimulate the effects of controlled drugs including cocaine, Ecstasy, methamphetamine, and heroin. The CNB has linked NPS abuse to symptoms including severe intoxication, hallucinations, paranoia, seizures, cadiovascular problems, renal failure, and death.

Typically having chemical structure very similar but slightly different from controlled drugs, these substances have been illegalized, and their possession, consumption, trafficking, and manufacturing now carry penalties comparable to that of controlled drugs. Last year, under the Fifth Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act, designed to study NPSs before their illegalization, they could be confiscated by authorities, but no further penalty would be levied.

Read more: wikinews.org

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