Singapore has executed a Ghanaian man for drug smuggling, rejecting his plea for clemency. Billy Agbozo,39, was found guilty and executed last Friday (March 9), more than 4 years after his arrest.
He had travelled by plane from Accra to Dubai on April 4, 2013, before boarding a plane bound for Singapore. He arrived at Singapore’s Changi Airport the next day and planned to spend five nights in the Asian country.
But he was stopped by checkpoint inspectors who screened his luggage – a black haversack and a red-and-black suitcase.
According to straitstimes.com, A White, crystalline substances were found in the wall of the haversack and the inner plastic casing of the suitcase. The substances contained 1.63kg of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of about $135,600.
Details of his recorded telephone conversation with an unknown caller in twi were also captured and presented as evidence against him.
He was arrested and found guilty of illegally importing controlled drugs under the Country’s Misuse of Drugs Act.
It not yet known the arrangement made between Ghana and Singapore and whether Accra presented a plea.
His appeal against his conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in February last year.
His petition to the President for clemency was also turned down.
Under Singapore law, trafficking more than 15 grams of heroin brings a mandatory death sentence.
But reforms that came into effect in 2013 gave judges discretion on certain cases.
Those convicted of drug trafficking can have their sentences commuted if they aid police and acted merely as couriers, according to the latest changes.
The Misuse of Drugs Act provides for the death penalty if the amount of methamphetamine trafficked is more than 250g.
Agbozo was “accorded full due process under the law, and was represented by legal counsel throughout the process”, said the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), as quoted by straitstimes.com.
CNB added that 1.63kg of methamphetamine is sufficient to feed the addiction of about 1,210 abusers for a week.
Human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Singapore for imposing the death penalty, saying its use of the death penalty shows flagrant disregard for human life.
Amnesty International in October Last year called on Singapore to the end the death sentence immediately.
Flagrant disregard for human life
Singapore’s continued reliance on mandatory death sentences, which violate international law has received widespread condemnation across Human Right groups.
Amnesty International in its 2017 report, said the act meant that dozens of low-level drug offenders have been sent to death row in recent years.
“Singapore likes to paint itself as a prosperous and progressive role model, but its use of the death penalty shows flagrant disregard for human life,” it said.
“The country relies on harsh laws that overwhelmingly target drug offenders on the lower rungs of the ladder, many of whom will come from disadvantaged backgrounds,” said Chiara Sangiorgio, Amnesty International’s Death Penalty Adviser.”