SINGAPORE: In a rare case, an Indian-origin Malaysian on death row in Singapore for possessing drugs has been acquitted by the country' apex court.
According to the judgement yesterday, Gopu Jaya Raman successfully proved that he did not know that controlled drugs were hidden in the motorcycle he was riding into Singapore.
On March 24, 2014, Gopu was arrested after he entered Singapore through Woodlands Checkpoint on the north with three black bundles of diamorphine hidden in his motorcycle's fender.
Diamorphine also known as Heroin, is an opioid most commonly used as a recreational drug for its euphoric effects.
When immigration officers stopped him and found the drugs, he said he did not know the drugs were hidden in the motorcycle.
Gopu, also claimed the motorcycle was not his.
Tay Yong Kwang, the sole dissenting judge in yesterday's judgement, noted that Gopu had trafficked drugs into Singapore on two other occasions before he was caught on March 24, 2014.
He had been trying to repay a 4,000 Malaysian Ringgit loan.
He was not convinced by Gopu's reasons for entering Singapore or how he came to possess the motorcycle.
He said Gopu's admission to trafficking drugs into Singapore on the same motorcycle on two other occasions did not bolster his credibility.
After the authorities found the drugs, they got Gopu's help to try to nab others in the ring who might turn up to collect the drugs, the judgement stated.
The operation, however, was called off when no one turned up.
Authorities monitored his conversation with the man who had helped to get him the motorcycle.
After listening to a number of exchanges, officers told Gopu to send a message, indicating that he had no knowledge of the drugs.
In yesterday's judgement, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and Judge of Appeal Judith Prakash found that Gopu would have missed the drugs when he was checking for them, given the bundles' "size and dark colour".