Man's plan to deliver drugs via Lalamove foiled after deliveryman mistakenly sends it to neighbour

·Senior Reporter
·4 min read
Singapore's State Courts seen on 21 April 2020. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
Singapore's State Courts seen on 21 April 2020. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — A man’s plan to deliver drugs to an acquaintance by using delivery platform Lalamove went awry after a deliveryman sent the package to the wrong unit.

The illicit package containing methamphetamine, which was hidden in back paper box within a Nespresso paper bag, was mistakenly delivered to the recipient’s neighbour, who called the police.

Marvin Chew Xuan Han, who possessed the narcotics, was jailed for two years on Thursday (21 October) after he pleaded guilty to two counts of consuming methamphetamine, and one count of possessing no less than 2.03g of the drug in his Jalan Ampas unit. All the offences took place in May and October last year.

According to a Sport Singapore list, Chew, 37, is a volleyball coach under the National Registry of Coaches (NROC) who was suspended on 17 August last year pending investigations. The list did not specify what he was being investigated for.

Facts of the case

Chew was acquainted with a man, Joo Jian Beng, known to him as Josh, who arranged for Lalamove to deliver a packet of drugs to himself. The deliveryman was asked to pick up the package from Chew’s residence and deliver it to Josh's flat in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10.

Chew and Josh were both aware that the item to be picked up was a packet of methamphetamine, which came in the form of granules.

On 4 May last year, Chew handed over the paper bag containing the drugs to a deliveryman known as Lim. He paid $12 for the delivery fee.

Later that day, Josh received a notification from Lalamove that the job was completed, but he had not received the package. He called Lim, who said that he might have mistakenly sent it to a neighbour, who lived directly above Josh.

Josh approached his neighbour, who had received the package but refused to hand it over as she had noticed a suspicious item in the package. She lodged a police report. The package was seized and found to contain one packet of no less than 3g of crystalline substance, which contained no less than 2.03g of methamphetamine.

Marvin Chew arrested

Acting on intelligence, police officers arrested Chew on 8 May last year. He was then escorted to lockup and two urine samples were obtained from him. These were analysed by the Health Sciences Authority, which found traces of methamphetamine in both samples.

Chew said that he had obtained the drug, known by its street name as Ice, from a person he met via an online application. He then consumed the drug by inhaling it through a utensil.

After he was released on bail, Chew reoffended and was arrested again on 11 October last year at South Bridge Road. His urine sample against tested positive for meth.

Chew admitted that he obtained the drug from one of the persons arrested along with him. He had consumed it by placing it into a syringe filled in water, then jabbed the mixture into his left arm.

He confessed that he began consuming the drug in this manner from May last year and did so between three and four times a week.

Josh was sentenced to a year's jail on one count each of possessing and consuming drugs.

Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) Lydia Goh told the court that Chew might not have been caught if the package had not been delivered to the wrong unit. The case was connected in "a loose sense" to the illicit circulation of drugs, which is an aggravating factor, said the APP. 

Chew's lawyer Michael Chang sought 22 months' jail for his client, whom he said had shown remorse and rendered cooperation to the authorities. 

District Judge Kevin Kwek accepted the prosecution's submission that the the case was connected in a loose sense to the illicit circulation of drugs, and noted it was fortuitous that the drugs were discovered.

Sport Singapore's statement

In a statement, Sport Singapore said Chew has been suspended from coaching since August 2020 when police investigation began. 

"In light of the judgement of the Court, NROC panel will be convened to determine the appropriate action against him, which may include termination and debarment,” Sport SG said.

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