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14 Mar 2006

cops pose as gay men to nab drug traffickers in singapore

Four men were arrested after a "bedroom party" was raided by undercover police officers posing as gay men.

According to an exclusive report in local tabloid The New Paper last Friday, four men were arrested in a raid last Wednesday night.

Conducted by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), a spokesman was quoted as saying that this was the first gay drug syndicate to be bused in the city-state. The police said that the supplier, traffickers and customers were all gay; and supplied ecstasy pills exclusively to gay clientele.

It is believed that the sting operation was set up by the police who made arrangements to meet the suspects at their home for sex.

A 28-year-old man was arrested at 11pm by an undercover officer and his backup officers at the lift lobby of an apartment block. He will be released on bail pending investigation.

A second man was arrested after police raided an apartment on the sixth floor. He was released on bail pending an urine analysis and was also found to be unaware of the illegal activities going on in the flat.

Police arrested a third man who was waiting in one of the bedrooms. Six Ecstasy pills were found in the room. Based on the suspect's information, police arrested a fourth man at other apartment who is believed to be the supplier. Eight Erimin-5 tablets and 136 Ecstasy pills were found.

The supplier and the man found in the bedroom were charged last Friday with possession for the purpose of trafficking. If found guilty, they face a minimum sentence of five years' jail and five strokes of the cane.

The tabloid report also contained interviews with undercover police officers who expressed their discomfort about having to raid a gay group and how they "spent days researching the gay lifestyle."

One of the officers told the tabloid that he was afraid the gay suspect might not find him attractive. He was quoted as saying: "I did not know his preference. I was worried he might not find me tempting enough or like my body language."

"I did not know whether I should shake hands or not because I did not know how a gay man should behave."

The police officer added, "He was expecting a threesome with drugs and thought I was making it interesting by 'pretending' to be a CNB officer." He was commenting on the facial expression of one of the suspects when he entered the room posing as a gay man.

An observer Fridae spoke to questioned if it was appropriate for the police to allow individual police officers to speak to the media about a case that is under investigation and especially about non-relevant aspects of the case.

Fridae columist and pioneer gay activist Alex Au discusses the case and the tabloid report in a related article.


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