Source: The star
Date: 19 March 2004

Singapore hangs woman convicted of heroin trafficking

SINGAPORE (AP) - Singapore authorities hanged a woman convicted of heroin trafficking on Friday in the city-state's first drug execution this year, the Central Narcotics Bureau said.

Singaporean Yen May Woen, 37, was executed at Changi Prison after a court sentenced her to death a year ago, the drug agency said in a statement.

The United Nations and London-based Amnesty International have accused Singapore of having the world's highest per capita execution rate.

Singapore has said its tough laws - which call for mandatory death sentences for drug traffickers - have saved the country of 4 million from the drug scourge plaguing many of its neighbors.

Yen was arrested in May 2002 after she was caught putting a black briefcase containing 120 packets of heroin weighing 950 grams (33.5 ounces) into the trunk of a taxi, the statement said.

After analysis, the packets were found to contain only 30 grams (1.1 ounces) of pure heroin, it added.

Anyone caught with more than 15 grams (0.5 ounces) of heroin or more than 500 grams (17.6 ounces) of marijuana is presumed to be trafficking and must be executed under Singapore law.

Yen was the first drug offender executed this year, according to the drug agency.

The last execution was Dec. 19 when four men, including one Malaysian, were hanged for trafficking heroin and marijuana, it said. - AP

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