Man sentenced to be hanged for drug possession

| Fadley Faisal |

A 26-year-old Malaysian man, who was adopted by a Bruneian family, was sentenced to death by hanging upon his conviction by the High Court yesterday on two counts of possession of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking. He was caught in the Narcotics Control Bureau’s largest drug bust.

Muhammad Mustaqim Mustofa bin Abdullah, claimed trial to both offences, which involved a total of over six kilogrammes of cannabis. The first charge carries the death penalty as the defendant was in possession of cannabis of more than 600 grammes. The second charge carries the maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane.

Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Haji Kifrawi bin Dato Paduka Haji Kifli and Justice Radin Safiee bin Radin Mas Basiuni convicted the defendant after a month-long trial and sentenced him to death by hanging for the first charge. For the second charge, the defendant was sentenced to five years imprisonment and five strokes of whipping.

The prosecution’s case in court was that on May 7, 2014, after being tipped off by members of the public, officers of the Narcotics Control Bureau arrested the defendant who was driving a green vehicle in the vicinity of the parking lot near B-Mobile at Bangunan Haji Abdul Malik dan Anak-Anak at Kampong Petani in Tutong.

Upon inspecting the defendant’s vehicle, the Narcotics Control Bureau officers discovered two bags of cannabis. Subsequent investigations at his house in Kampong Jerudong by the Narcotics Control Bureau revealed that the defendant possessed one clear plastic packet containing cannabis inside a safe in his bedroom.

The defendant, who was represented by Ridzlan bin Haji Ibrahim, admitted in court that he and another person purchased the cannabis in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on May 5, 2014 for $7,500.

They then smuggled the cannabis into Brunei Darussalam via Miri by concealing the drugs in potato crisps bags. He then kept the drugs at his house in Kampong Jerudong until May 7, 2014, at which point he gathered all of the drugs in his house and brought them in his car as he feared that his house was about to be raided.

This led to the court’s conclusion that the defendant was in control of the cannabis in his possession.

The court also rejected the defendant’s claim that he intended to throw away the cannabis into the jungle, especially given the fact that he had already spent $7,500 to pay for the cannabis and was involved in the cross-border smuggling of the drug.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Hajah Anifa Rafiza binti Haji Abdul Ghani and Sharon Yeo appeared on behalf of the Public Prosecutor.

The prosecution called a total of 16 witnesses including officers from the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Department of Scientific Services.

The post Man sentenced to be hanged for drug possession appeared first on Borneo Bulletin Online.

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