SINGAPORE: A 27-year-old Malaysian who had earlier been found guilty of bringing into Singapore 22.24g of diamorphine, the pure form of heroin, was on Monday (Sep 22) sentenced to death.
Prabagaran a/l Srivijayan was arrested in the early morning of April 12, 2012, at the Woodlands Checkpoint after immigration officers found two bundles wrapped with black masking tape – later found to contain the diamorphine – in the centre armrest console of the car he was driving into Singapore.
Prabagaran, who had said he was unaware that the two bundles were in his car, claimed trial on a charge of importing heroin of more than 15g, which carries the death penalty.
He was convicted in the High Court on July 22.
Court documents said Prabagaran had borrowed the car from a friend to enter Singapore on that day in April because he could not use his motorcycle. He had been behind in paying his monthly instalment and he was afraid that the motorcycle shop in Malaysia would repossess the vehicle.
Prabagaran had also told another friend that he had to take the car to Singapore early in the day – even though he was due to start his shift at a petrol pump station here only at 3pm – because he needed to return his work permit and gate pass to a former employer.
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,” said the prosecution.
Prabagaran’s defence lawyer, Mr N Kanagavijayan, told the court that his client would be filing an appeal against the conviction.