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Australian journalist faces drug charges in Singapore

Fri Jul 18, 2008

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - An Australian journalist was arrested in Singapore on drug-related charges, the Australian government said on Friday, and faces up to 20 years in jail and 15 strokes of the cane if convicted.

Peter Lloyd, a senior journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Cooperation, was detained on Wednesday after Singapore's drug police had received a tipoff.

Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau said in a statement that Lloyd had allegedly supplied a Singaporean man with drugs and was caught with 0.8 grams (0.028 ounces) of methamphetamine, one smoking pipe and six syringes.

It said Lloyd's urine had tested positive for amphetamine.

"We can confirm the arrest of ABC journalist Peter Lloyd in Singapore on drug-related charges on 16 July," said a spokesman for Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"The Australian High Commission in Singapore has visited Mr. Lloyd and is providing consular assistance to him."

Lloyd will be charged in a Singapore court on Friday, a court official said.

A statement from the director of ABC News said that Lloyd was on leave in Singapore from his posting in New Delhi and that the organization has not been told the full details of the case.

Singapore drug laws are among the world's toughest and anyone caught carrying more than 15 grams of heroin, 30 grams of cocaine, 500 grams of cannabis or 250 grams of methamphetamines faces a mandatory death sentence by hanging.

In 2005, Australian drug smuggler Tuong Van Nguyen, 25, was hanged in Singapore after he was convicted of smuggling 400 grams of heroin from Cambodia through Singapore's Changi airport in 2002.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Jan Dahinten)

ABC reporter Peter Lloyd in Singapore drugs arrest
Natalie O'Brien and Samantha Maiden - July 18, 2008

VETERAN ABC journalist Peter Lloyd has been arrested in Singapore on drug trafficking charges and could face 20 years in a Singapore jail and up to 15 strokes of the cane if found guilty.

The 41-year-old Australian is accused of supplying the drug ice to a Singaporean man.

Mr Lloyd is the ABC's South Asia correspondent based in New Delhi.

He was in Singapore on leave when he was arrested by officers from Singapore's Narcotics Bureau.

It is understood that police found a packet of ice weighing approximately 0.8 grams, one improvised smoking pipe and six syringes during a search of the apartment where he was arrested.

"His urine was screened positive for amphetamines, a controlled drug, on the instant urine test machine," one of the arresting officer's alleged.

In a statement released a short time ago, ABC News director John Cameron said: "Peter was in Singapore on leave from his posting in New Delhi.

"The ABC has not been told of the full details of the case, but we were aware that Peter had been undergoing hospital treatment in Singapore for a serious eye condition which he contracted while on leave.

"The ABC is in close contact with consultar officials and is also taking steps to ensure Peter is given appropriate legal representation.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman says the Australian High Commission in Singapore is providing the man with consular assistance.

Consular officials visit journalist
July 18, 2008

AUSTRALIAN officials have spoken to ABC journalist Peter Lloyd, who is facing drug charges in Singapore.

Lloyd, the ABC's South Asia correspondent, was arrested in Singapore earlier this week and is expected to be charged today with supplying drugs.

He faces up to 20 years in jail and 15 strokes of the cane if found guilty.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the Government would do all it could to help Lloyd, 41, and he would discuss the matter with the Australian high commissioner in Singapore next week.

"Australian officials have had consular access to Mr Lloyd and that has occurred in the usual way," Mr Smith said.

"Departmental officials have also been in contact with friends and family."

Mr Smith, who said he did not know Lloyd declined to comment on any charges or the judicial process.

But he expected charges to be formally laid later in the day at the hospital where Lloyd is being treated for an eye infection.

"Our expectation is that Australian officials will be present at that hearing," he said.

Mr Smith is travelling to Singapore next week for ASEAN talks.

"I'll be in a position to speak firsthand to the high commissioner and ensure personally that anything we can do when it comes to consular assistance is done for Mr Lloyd and his family," he said.

"The most important step in the process now is for the charges to be delineated and the legal and judicial processes of Singapore to occur.

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