By Gloria James-Civetta

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Drug offences in Singapore

2 min read

Singapore has one of the strictest laws on drug related offences. It is mainly governed by the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA). MDA spells out offences involving controlled substances in relation to trafficking, manufacturing, importation or exportation, possession and consumption. There are 3 different classes of drugs – Class A, B & C.

The law relating to drug offences in Singapore adopts a few presumptions making it easier to find the accused person guilty.

Presumption of Possession

If anyone has in his possession anything containing a controlled drug, the keys of anything containing a controlled drug, is presumed to be in possession of the drug. The offender has to prove otherwise like he was not aware he was in possession of the substances.

Presumption of Trafficking

Any person who has in their possession more than a certain weight of drugs, it is presumed that the drugs in possession is for the purpose of trafficking unless it can be proved that his possession was not for that purpose. Different drugs have different minimum weights.


Punishments differ in severity depending on the class of controlled substance:

Class A

Maximum: 20 years & 15 strokes
Minimum: 5 years & 5 stokes

Class B

Maximum: 20 years & 10 strokes
Minimum: 3 years & 3 strokes

Class C

Maximum: 10 years & 5 strokes
Minimum: 2 years & 2 strokes

There are changes to the mandatory death penalty offences for drug related offences. The death penalty is no longer mandatory if the accused was:

a) only a courier and had absolutely no other involvement in the supply or distribution of drugs
b) either:

(i) accused has substantively assisted the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in disrupting drug trafficking activities within or outside Singapore
(ii) accused proves he was suffering from such abnormality of mind as substantially impaired his mental responsibility for committing the offence

If you have been charged with a drug-related offence, it is highly recommended that you seek immediate legal advice and representation. At GJC Law, we have a comprehensive understanding of the criminal justice system.

What can we do for you?

Should you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our criminal representation lawyers at 6337 0469 or email us at

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