A Singaporean man who ran a drug trafficking network in South Korea using Telegram has been sentenced to jail by a Seoul court and will be extradited to Singapore after serving his term.
The 37-year-old man, whose identity has not been revealed, was arrested in Seoul on April 9, following a joint investigation by the Singapore Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and the South Korean Ministry of Public Security.
According to the CNB, the man is wanted for drug trafficking in Singapore and is suspected of supplying drugs for sale in Singapore using encrypted chat applications.
The man was involved in a multinational syndicate that sold various types of drugs, including methamphetamine, ecstasy, and cannabis, on Telegram, a messaging platform that offers end-to-end encryption and self-destructing messages.
The syndicate operated in several countries, including South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines, and had connections with other drug lords in Southeast Asia.
The CNB said that the man had been living in South Korea since 2018 and had obtained permanent resident status there. He had also set up a company in Seoul as a front for his illicit activities.
The man was sentenced to jail by a Seoul court on December 14, after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges. The CNB said that he will be repatriated to Singapore after completing his jail sentence in South Korea, where he will face further charges under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The CNB added that it will continue to work closely with its foreign counterparts to combat transnational drug trafficking and bring offenders to justice.