Singapore: A 27-year-old Indian-origin man has been sentenced to death by a court here for trying to smuggle diamorphine, a pure form of heroin, into Singapore, media reports said on Tuesday.
Prabagaran a/l Srivijayan, a Malaysian national, was arrested in April 2012 at the woodlands Checkpoint with 2 bundles of diamorphine weighing 22.24g.
The drug was wrapped in black masking tape hidden in the armrest console of the car he was driving into the country from the southern Malaysian city of Johor Bahru.
Prabagaran had said he was unaware the two bundles were in his car and claimed trial on the charges of drug trafficking.
Trafficking more than 15g of heroin into Singapore carries the death penalty.
He was convicted in the High Court on July 22, reported Today newspaper.
Court documents said Prabagaran had borrowed the car from a friend to enter Singapore on that day because he could not use his motorcycle.
He had been behind in paying his monthly instalment and he was afraid that the motorcycle would be repossessed in Malaysia.
Prabagaran, who worked as a shop assistant at a petrol pump station in Malaysia, had come into Singapore that day in order to return his work permit and gate pass to a former employer here.
During the trial, the prosecution had argued that Prabagaran was an untruthful witness and that his testimony was "unconvincing, riddled with inconsistencies and cannot be believed".
"If the accused (Prabagaran) had truly intended to return his work permit and the gate pass to his former employer, he has not offered any satisfactory explanation why he had to do so several hours before his work shift began," argued the prosecution.
Prabagaran's lawyer N Kanagavijayan told the court that his client would be filing an appeal against the conviction.