Singapore commutes death penalty for heroin dealer, right after hanging Tangaraju Suppiah in cannabis case

In an example of extreme irony, the Singapore Court of Appeal changed the death sentence of a heroin dealer to 10 years in prison on the same day that Singaporean Indian man Tangaraju Suppiah was executed for allegedly abetting in the trafficking of 1kg of marijuana (cannabis), a parcel that he had not even touched.

The Singapore Court of Appeal has given death row convict Abdoll Mutaleb Raffik the lighter sentence, even though he was involved in the trafficking of more than 212.5g of pure heroin, much higher than the 15g pure heroin limit above which a convict gets the death penalty. Photo courtesy: Pixabay/QuinceCreative

Death row convict Abdoll Mutaleb Raffik, who had trafficked heroin, one of the most addictive substances in the world, will now escape execution as the Singapore Court of Appeal changed his punishment to 10 years’ imprisonment. The new verdict came yesterday, shortly after Tangaraju Suppiah, a man of Tamil ethnicity, was hanged at Changi prison despite an international outcry and fervent mercy appeals by his family.

Also read: Singapore hangs Tangaraju Suppiah in 1kg cannabis case after court dismisses last-ditch review application

The dealer had his death sentence commuted on the amended charge for attempted possession of more than 5.5kg of a “granular and powdery substance” that contained not less than 212.57g of pure heroin. Under Singapore law, importing more than 15g of pure heroin gets one the death penalty.

Raffik was one of the three people convicted by the Singapore High Court in 2019 for engaging in a conspiracy to import bundles of heroin into Singapore. He was sentenced to death as the main dealer. His co-accused, Mohd Zaini Zainutdin and Mohd Noor Ismail, were each sentenced to life imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane, as the court found them to be couriers only and because they had helped the Central Narcotics Bureau with investigations.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal decided that there was insufficient evidence to prove the capital charge against Raffik beyond reasonable doubt.

CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

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