Students warned over global drug syndicates

National 2 minutes, 27 seconds


A SENIOR official of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is advising students planning to study abroad to learn about the dangers of international drug syndicates.

Osmawi Osman, Assistant Director of the NCB’s Preventive Drug Education Division, yesterday advised them to visit the drug information mini gallery at the bureau’s headquarters in the capital to educate themselves so they won’t be swindled by these syndicates into taking drugs.

“(Members of) these drug syndicates will disguise themselves as normal people like an elderly Asian couple who look innocent. Students could be easily victimised if they aren’t aware of these syndicates’ techniques,” he said.

Osmawi was responding to a call from Deputy Minister of Education Pg Dato Paduka Hj Bahrom Pg Hj Bahar who urged students studying overseas to stay away from negative elements that would get them involved in unhealthy activities.

Osmawi reminded students about a local Bruneian woman who in 2009 was sentenced to life in prison in China for smuggling drugs after being lured by a drug syndicate with false promises.

“If you are studying abroad and a stranger offers to make you a model, you need to think twice whether the offer is valid or not. You need to be smart enough to know the difference between right and wrong,” he said during a brief tour of the mini gallery.

Part of the NCB’s efforts to tackle this issue is through its pre-departure programme for students, said Osmawi.

“We want students to understand about the myth that some drugs can boost their intelligence or speed up their memorisation skills,” he said, adding that students shouldn’t be easily deceived into believing such drugs exist.

Osmawi said students who returned from their studies abroad shared that they had encountered members of international drug syndicates.

“The syndicate members didn’t look like how they are portrayed by international media. If that was the case, you would know what to do. However, some of the new syndicate members are middle-aged Asians who try to offer you free accommodations or airline tickets,” he said.

“I hope parents will also bring their children to our mini gallery so NCB officers can share important information about the international drug syndicates,” he added.

The NCB’s mini gallery has two exhibits - ‘Drug Info Gallery’ and ‘What Happens When You Say Yes’.

Osmawi said the mini gallery provides basic information on drugs and their various forms and features posters depicting life stories of ex-drug addicts which often don’t have a happy ending.

The mini gallery, which was launched in 2010, consists of four different sections marked with specific colour schemes which form part of a learning journey for visiting students. The gallery also features quizzes, video presentations and displays of drug samples.

The gallery is open to the public during office hours from Monday to Sunday except Saturday afternoon at the NCB’s headquarters on Jalan Tungku Link.

The Brunei Times