Asia

Teen who died while facing drug trafficking charges was seen by doctor twice in lock-up and deemed well

SINGAPORE – The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) on Friday (Oct 22) released the findings of its review on the case of a teen who died while facing drug trafficking charges.

Justin Lee, 17, who was arrested on Feb 3 and charged in court on June 24, died on Sept 16 from a fall from height.

His mother, Ms Cecilia Ow, 51, on Oct 12, posted a letter addressed to Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam on her Instagram page, describing her son’s arrest and his history with depression.

Here is a timeline of what happened.

January 2021

– CNB conducts investigations on Justin, who was then suspected of trafficking LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) stamps – a hallucinogen made on tabs of blotting paper.

Feb 3

– Justin is arrested by CNB officers at about 7.25pm in Serangoon North Avenue 4. He is compliant and does not put up any struggle.

– The officers hold on to him while he is handcuffed, and escort him to various locations in the course of investigations.

– Nine CNB officers conduct a follow-up operation at Justin’s home between 9pm and 9.20pm.

– Six of the officers enter the flat after getting permission from Ms Ow.

– Four of the six officers escort Justin to his bedroom, where a search is conducted by two of them.

– Justin is later escorted to the CNB Enforcement Office at Bedok Police Divisional Headquarters for a urine test, recording of further statement, and detailed searches and documentation of personal properties.

Feb 4

– Justin is transferred to the Central Police Divisional Headquarters and admitted to the lock-up there at about 1.25am.

– He is examined by a doctor and deemed to be well.

– CNB seizes 131 LSD stamps from a location near Serangoon North Avenue 4 at about 11.40am.

– Justin is interviewed at about 11.45am. The interview is video-recorded.

– A second video-recorded interview is conducted between 7.35pm and 8pm. Justin admits to owning the LSD stamps and said they were meant for sale.

– Justin is allowed to call Ms Ow at about 8.55pm, and is released on bail to her at about 10.40pm.

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May 2021

– CNB completes investigations into Justin’s case.

June 2021

– The Attorney-General’s Chambers directs CNB to charge Justin with drug trafficking.

June 23

– Justin is asked to report to CNB Headquarters, which he does at about 12.40pm.

– He is taken to the lock-up and served with the drug trafficking charges. The process is video-recorded.

– The teenager is also examined by a doctor, who does not detect any issues of concern.

– CNB releases Justin on bail at about 7.50pm. He is to report to the courts the next day.

– Justin acknowledges that he had no complaints while in lock-up.

– This is the last contact CNB has with Justin.

June 24

– Justin is charged in court and released on court bail.

– His case is adjourned to July 22, upon his lawyer’s request.

July to August 2021

– Justin’s court hearing is adjourned three more times, each also upon his lawyer’s request. The final hearing date was set for Sept 23.

Sept 16

– Justin dies after a fall from height.

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Helplines

• National Care Hotline:
1800-202-6868 (8am – 12am)

Mental well-being

• Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline:
6389-2222 (24 hours)

• Samaritans of Singapore:
1800-221-4444 (24 hours) /1-767 (24 hours)

• Singapore Association for Mental Health:
1800-283-7019

• Silver Ribbon Singapore:
6386-1928

• Tinkle Friend:
1800-274-4788 and www.tinklefriend.sg

• Community Health Assessment Team:
6493-6500/1 and www.chat.mentalhealth.sg

Counselling

• TOUCHline (Counselling):
1800-377-2252

• TOUCH Care Line (for seniors, caregivers):
6804-6555

• Care Corner Counselling Centre:
1800-353-5800

Online resources

• mindline.sg

• My Mental Health

• Fei Yue’s Online Counselling Service

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