Mohd Sharif bin Ibrahim v Public Prosecutor

CourtCourt of Appeal (Singapore)
JudgeChao Hick Tin JA
Judgment Date02 February 2002
Neutral Citation[2002] SGCA 7
Citation[2002] SGCA 7
Published date22 March 2013
Plaintiff CounselJames Bahadur Masih and Gurcharanjit Singh (James Masih & Co)
Defendant CounselHan Ming Kuang (Public Prosecutor)



1. This was an appeal against a decision of the High Court convicting the appellant of a capital charge of having in his possession 98.71 grams of diamorphine for the purpose of trafficking. We heard the appeal on 19 November 2001 and dismissed it. We now give our reasons

The facts

2. The evidence adduced by the prosecution established the following facts. On 11 October 2000, at about 6.10pm, the appellant and his girlfriend, one Siti Rohaza (Siti), were seen leaving the flat at 251 Tampines Street 21, #04-454 (the flat). The flat belonged to an uncle (Mohamed Salleh Bin Masaram) and aunt of the appellant. They walked through the Tampines MRT station and the Tampines Bus Interchange to reach a Singapore Turf Club booth located at Blk 512 Tampines Central. Having completed their business there, they walked to Tampines Mall (the Mall) where they met a Malay couple (established to be one Emran bin Tahir and his wife Suriani). At the Mall, the four of them then entered the "Americaya" shoe store where the appellant made a purchase. Thereafter the appellant and Siti parted company with the Malay couple and returned to Blk 251. It was then about 7.40pm.

3. While the appellant went up to the flat, carrying the shopping bag containing the pair of shoes, Siti remained downstairs at the playground. Two minutes later, the appellant came down from the flat. He walked across to the void deck of the adjacent Blk 250 where he met one Mohamed Idris Bin Sanip (Idris). After a short conversation where the appellant passed some heroin to Idris, the appellant returned to where Siti was. Both were then arrested by CNB officers. At about that time, Idris was also arrested in the vicinity of Blk 250.

4. A S$10 note and an envelope containing S$650 were found in the right pocket of the appellant’s trousers. An aluminium foil containing loose heroin and another aluminium foil containing a straw of heroin were found in the left pocket of his trousers.

5. Later, at about 8.20pm, with the use of a key from the bunch seized from the appellant, the CNB officers entered the flat. In the presence of the appellant, a black briefcase, which was in the room occupied by the appellant, was forced open and found to contain the following items:-

    (i) 2 packets and 8 sachets of what was later established to be 987.47 grams (gross weight) of heroin.

    (ii) 3 empty brown envelopes with handwriting on 2 of them.

    (iii) 2 digital scales, and

    (iv) a marker pen.

In the wardrobe of the room, a sachet of heroin and some empty plastic sachets in a plastic container were also found.

6. The drugs found in the black briefcase, which was the subject of the charge against the appellant, were analysed to contain a net weight of not less than 98.71 grams of diamorphine.

7. Upon being questioned by Inspector Herman Bin Hamli (Insp Herman) as to whom the drugs found in the room belonged to, the appellant replied that they were his. The relevant questions and answers were as follows:-

    "Insp Herman: The drugs in the room belong to who?

    B1: Mine.

    Insp Herman: What type of drugs?

    B1: Heroin.

    Insp Herman: What is the heroin for?

    B1: All is for smoking.

    Insp Herman: Whose weighing scale?

    B1: Mine."

8. These questions and answers were recorded by Insp Herman in his pocket book. According to Insp Herman, the appellant declined to correct the answers recorded or sign on the pocket book.

9. At 1.00am on 12 October 2000, an instant urine test was also conducted on the appellant and Siti at the CNB headquarters. Both were tested positive for opiates.

10. Emran and his wife Suriani, together with Emran’s nephew, one Ruziani Bin Ajis, were subsequently arrested. Siti was charged together with the appellant and the other three were charged shortly thereafter. However, Siti, Emran, Suriani and Ruziani were later given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

11. A number of statements were recorded from the appellant. Four long statements (exhibits 32, 33, 34 and 35), recorded over three days, were admitted into evidence after he confirmed that they were voluntarily made. The statements incriminated the appellant directly and substantially. We cite below portions of exhibit P32 to show the sort of admission he made:-

    On 11 October 2000 at about 5.00pm, plus I met a male Chinese known to me as Ah Chai at the void deck of Blk 240 plus, Tampines Street 21. This Blk is near an overhead bridge. I collected from him a plastic bag containing a shoe box. Inside this shoe box there were two plastic packets of heroin. After collecting the plastic bag, I proceeded to the ground floor lift landing and removed the two plastic packets from the shoe box and transferred them into a black briefcase.



    I left the place and walked back to my uncle’s house at Blk 251, Tampines Street 21.



    I arrived at my uncle’s house before 6.00pm. It was only a few minutes walk. When I arrived, the house was locked. Using the house key which was in my possession, I opened the iron gate and then the main door. I looked around and there was no one in the house. I know that at this hour, my uncle and auntie would be at work. I entered the first room and placed the black briefcase near a big bag in front of the bed.

    The eight sachets of heroin inside a brown envelope in my briefcase was the balance of 9 sachets of heroin which I had earlier placed inside the briefcase. I placed the other sachet of heroin inside a plastic container on a shelf of my wardrobe in the bedroom.

    The two weighing scales that was found inside my black briefcase was given to me by Ah Chai on 11 October when I collected the two plastic packets of heroin from him. I had asked him to give me these weighing scales because I need them to weigh the heroin before converting into sachets. That was how it came to be inside my briefcase.


12. In essence, what the appellant asserted at the trial was that the facts set out in the four long statements were not true. He claimed that he fabricated those things to protect his uncle and aunt who owned the flat. While the appellant did not deny occupying the room where the briefcase was found, he claimed that the briefcase was only given to him by Emran on the morning of the day of the arrest. Emran wanted to leave it with him for safekeeping as he was under surveillance by the Police. He denied knowledge that the briefcase contained drugs as he was told by Emran that the briefcase contained pornographic VCDs. The appellant also said that Emran gave him a sum of $650 for his expenses, as Emran knew the appellant was unemployed.

13. The trial judge, having carefully weighed the evidence tendered by the prosecution and the defence raised by the appellant, concluded that the appellant was guilty of the charge. The facts alluded to in the four long statements (which voluntariness was not in issue), as well as the oral statement recorded by Insp Herman in this pocket book, showed quite clearly that the appellant was a heroin trafficker as well as a heroin addict. He had, on the day of his arrest, even delivered heroin to Idris.

14. The trial judge also found that even if the appellant’s defence, that the briefcase belonged to Emran, was to be believed, given the circumstances and his relationship with Emran, the appellant could not reasonably say that he did not know and had no reason to suspect that the briefcase contained drugs; all the more so when the appellant said that Emran left the briefcase with him for safekeeping as Emran was under police surveillance. The trial judge also noted that the appellant had failed to call Emran to substantiate his assertion.

Grounds of appeal

15. There was, in the main, only one ground upon which the appellant sought to have the verdict of the court below overturned, and this was very much the same ground he canvassed before the judge below. He said that although he had physical...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • Public Prosecutor v Lim Ai Wah and Thomas Philip Doehrman
    • Singapore
    • District Court (Singapore)
    • 9 de setembro de 2016
    ...calling a witness, where the prosecution has sufficiently proved its case by other independent evidence.” (Mohd Sharif bin Ibrahim v PP [2002] SGCA 7 at [29]). In any event, strict criteria must be satisfied before an inference may be drawn: (1) the witness that was not called was material;......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT