Established in 1999



Public Others Government Business Arts Community
Entertainment Lifestyle Services People Travel Internet Stuff



     FrontPage Edition: Tue 4 July 2006

Entrapment: A Necessary Enforcement Tool


Reply to ST's article on "Entrapment: Lawyers say narcotics officers crossed the line in quest to nab offender, but any method of entrapment is legal here", 16 June 2006
Entrapment: A Necessary Enforcement Tool
The Editor Forum Page
The Straits Times
Dear Sir,
Entrapment: A Necessary Enforcement Tool
The report ¡°Entrapment: Lawyers say narcotics officers crossed the line in quest to nab offender, but any method of entrapment is legal here¡± (by Ms Stephanie Yap, Straits Times, 9 Jun), suggested that the CNB had acted unethically in the apprehension of Adrian Yeo for drug possession.
This led to various letters from concerned members of the public on the entrapment issue.
ST followed up on the subject again with an editorial ¡°Entrapment: Fair or not?¡± (14 Jun) advocating that CNB¡¯s action against Yeo was somehow wrong because ¡°Fair-minded people are entitled to point out it seems neither fair nor ethical to encourage a person to break the law, just for enforcement agencies to gather evidence.¡±
The ST article published on 9 Jun regrettably did not report all the facts of Adrian Yeo¡¯s case.
A diligent reading of Yeo¡¯s plea in mitigation which was presented in court will show that Yeo had been consuming drugs even before he came to the attention of CNB.
In fact, Yeo would not have been of any interest to CNB otherwise; it was his drug abuse which led CNB to investigate him in the first place.
When Yeo was asked if he had any drugs, Yeo volunteered to bring drugs to the hotel where he was subsequently arrested with Ecstasy, ¡®Ice¡¯, and Ketamine.
Adrian Yeo was, therefore, not a law-abiding person enticed into committing an offence by CNB. In omitting to highlight the fact that Yeo was a habitual drug abuser, the ST report has misled readers into thinking that CNB had acted unethically when the circumstances of the case clearly show the contrary and that CNB had acted professionally.
The ST editorial of 14 Jun suggests that law enforcement methods like entrapment should be reserved for only more serious offences involving drug trafficking and ¡°national security¡±, rather than drug abuse. This demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the situation. Drug abuse is a serious threat.
The battle against drugs in Singapore today faces a new challenge ¨C even as we have succeeded in addressing the serious heroin problem of the past, we face today a growing potential problem of synthetic drug abuse.
A majority of those arrested for synthetic drug abuse are first time offenders. One of the concerns this trend raises is the mentality of certain segments of our society who think that synthetic drugs are ¡°soft¡± drugs which should be tolerated as they are acceptable as part of a modern ¡°cool¡± lifestyle. This is a dangerous attitude which we must not allow to take root in our society.
The ST editorial also suggested that because Yeo is a taxi-driver¡¯s son who made it as a doctor, but whose future is now uncertain, the action taken against him will ¡°reinforce in some people a sense that natural justice had been violated.¡±
This is a strange argument. Surely the ST is not suggesting that the CNB action would be fairer and more just if Yeo had been related to a person of high social standing?
This cannot be the way our criminal justice system should work. Indeed, if the application of our criminal laws and the actions of our law enforcement agencies are to be dictated by factors such as an offender¡¯s family connections, income and social status this will be highly unjust and perverse, and no Singaporean will stand for it.
Finally, the ST editorial concluded by referring to the ¡°entrapment¡± case of insurance agent, Teo Ya Ling, as another illustration of unethical action by the authorities. This is wrong and without basis.
Teo Ya Ling was not an innocent law-abiding party tempted by CNB officers into committing an offence. She was a small-time drug dealer who had all along been supplying drugs to her clients in return for their buying insurance policies from her.
While a time-honoured tenet of natural justice is audi alteram partem ¨C ¡°to hear the other side¡± ¨C the ST reporter chose not to obtain and verify the facts of the case from any of the relevant enforcement agency, other than to ask whether CNB polices the chatlines and the Internet.
At no point did the reporter seek the views of any relevant enforcement agency on the issue of entrapment. If the ST reporter and the person who wrote the editorial had done their research, your paper would have been able to present a more balanced perspective.
Yours faithfully,
Director, Corporate Communications Division
for Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs)

Source: News Release 16 Jun 2006

Related Article:
- Community Issues - Entrapment: A Necessary Enforcement Tool

Important Notice

Our FrontPage Editions are a historical record of our Web site and reflect the changing of the times, and also of our Web site through time. We do not and will not update the links and stories on these FrontPages even if they have become obsolete.


If you have an event or some news to share with our readers, send the details, including picture(s), to us at 

We are now 11070 pages thick and growing.

Public Holidays NATIONAL DAY is the next public holiday. It falls on 9 August 2006.