ABC Journalist Faces 20 Yrs and Caning For One Gram of Meth

Schapelle Corby redux in Singapore....

Austrialian ABC Foreign Correspondent Peter Lloyd was busted in Sinagpore with one gram of meth. He faces 20 years in prison plus 15 whacks of the infamous cane.

He's charged with trafficking:

The ABC's South Asia correspondent was allegedly in possession of 0.8 grams of methamphetamine, or ice, a smoking pipe and six syringes when he was arrested by Singapore police on Wednesday. His urine tested positive to amphetamines.


Singapore court documents released late today show Lloyd, 41, was charged with trafficking about one gram of methamphetamine to a Singaporean for 100 Singapore dollars ($75) at a hotel early this month.

He faces a second charge for allegedly being in possession of methamphetamine, the charge sheet said.

Where is Lloyd now? In the hospital, being treated for a "serious eye infection." Did they beat him up too? Sadly, Lloyd is well familiar with Singapore's drug laws.

Lloyd, who is being treated in hospital for a serious eye infection, is a respected reporter who covered the case of Australian Nguyen Tuong Van, executed by Singapore in 2005 for heroin trafficking.

Lloyd won awards for his coverage of the Tsunami and the Bali bombings. He was on vacation from his post in New Delhi before becoming host of his own show in Australia in September.

Lloyd had been expected to return to Australia to start work as the host of the ABC2 television channel's new breakfast show from September.

ABC has sent a lawyer. He's eligible for bail and has a hearing next week. Stay tuned.

Update: Lloyd has been returned to the jail from the hospital.

Update: Lloyd also covered Schapelle Corby's trial and was in the courtroom when she was found guilty. Bail is set at $45,000. Hopefully, he'll be out soon.

Lloyd also covered the Bali 9 heroin cases. He was in Bali on vacation with his two young sons. He and his wife, the spokesperson for Unicef in Indonesia, separated six months ago. At the time, Lloyd disclosed he was gay. Was this a set up? It sure smells funny.

Update: A snitch may be at the root of this, one who was working off penalties for his own misdeeds. Looks like Lloyd will be fighting the charges.

< Psychology | Meta >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Pretty poor judgment on the reporter's part. (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:50:39 PM EST

    that's an understatement (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:52:54 PM EST
    Anyone who would go anywhere near that stuff is a fool, imo.

    why are you assuming he did it? (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:05:14 PM EST
    Could well be a frame.

    NYT mag Sunday will feature (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 04:58:46 PM EST
    an article by David Carr, who was a drug addict and seller, but turned over a new leaf when he had children, then became a reporter.  New book on the way.  

    That's not quite true (none / 0) (#30)
    by myiq2xu on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:40:53 PM EST
    People with money and the right doctor can get prescriptions that do all the same things street drugs do (except weed)

    I discovered working in family law the the upper classes are just a messed up as the rest of us, or worse, but the don't suffer the same consequences.


    Guilty? (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:53:30 PM EST
    Your prosecutor personality is showing.

    Just speaking to the foolishness of (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:55:27 PM EST
    even simple possession in Singapore.  

    see the updates (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:06:22 PM EST
    He's contesting the charges. Looks like he may have been framed.

    Really? (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:58:56 PM EST
    Sounded like you were assuming that Peter Lloyd was both guilty and stupid.

    Nope. Although I don't hold the (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:00:40 PM EST
    justice system of Singapore in particularly high regard.  

    If That Is Your Opinion (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:08:34 PM EST
    Than your comment makes little sense. It would be more consistent to assume Peter Lloyd is innocent and was framed.

    Which is why I wouldn't be able to (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 04:55:13 PM EST
    support myself practicing criminal defense.

    Smart Move (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 04:57:05 PM EST

    Using drugs in Singapore (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by MsExPat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:06:30 PM EST
    is like playing Russian roulette. It's insane and irresponsible. While we may find Singapore's zero tolerance drug laws barbaric, they are no secret--they're even posted all over the immigration areas at the airport.

    From reading the account, and with my knowledge of Singapore, I don't see the similarity to Schappelle Corby. Singapore isn't corrupt and byzantine like Indonesia. In order to keep their status as an international finance and business center, Singapore has to play things above board. Their leadership is a family dynasty, but in most other respects they're reasonably democratic, with an independent judiciary.

    When they busted that young British kid for graffitti or gum-chewing, they lost a lot of tourism and dollars. I doubt they'd frame a foreigner--if this guy was caught with the goods, I'd guess it was not a setup.

    Read the update (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by MsExPat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:19:08 PM EST
    Looks like a desperate snitch is behind this. Another good argument against draconian drug laws--they encourage offenders to lie to (literally) save their own lives.

    In this case, hopefully, the truth will prevail and justice will be done.


    American, Not British (none / 0) (#39)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:40:34 AM EST
    As much as I, and most of us, would love to push the blame on to our English friends across the pond, Michael Fay was an American kid, who was caught and caned for theft and public vandalism (graffiti).

    On a side note, I learned that his rich parents actually allowed him to get cosmetic surgery and change his name after his sentence.

    I'm sorry, but such people -- rich and spoiled -- deserve what they get.


    Ouch - I would not want to be in his shoes. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Shainzona on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:17:31 PM EST
    Certainly sounds like a frame - this guy certainly "knows better" than to get caught with drugs in Singapore!

    Can we all agree... (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by OxyCon on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 02:53:55 PM EST
    ...that people who bring drugs into Singapore are idiots?
    How many times do you have to read about an Australian who is going to rot away behind bars in that God forsaken place for drug possession before you realize that you do not take drugs there?

    You would think will all those (none / 0) (#31)
    by myiq2xu on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:43:14 PM EST
    draconian laws that Singapore would be completely drug-free.

    It's not.


    "All Those Draconian Laws" (none / 0) (#38)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:33:08 AM EST
    Sure, some of the laws in Singapore, are indeed excessive, but the fact that they are so strict is why there is a less-than-1% crime rate there and significant prosperity among its citizens and foreign residents.

    I was there with friends a couple of years ago, and there never was any fear of walking in the downtown, along the famous shopping district after 2-3AM when the bars and theaters closed.

    I would never dare do that here in Washington DC around the Adams Morgan/Chinatown area, or any downtown area in any major US city.


    Huh? (none / 0) (#37)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 05:27:24 AM EST
    in that God forsaken place

    I do hope you're not referring to Singapore as that "place"

    I've visited the country twice and have colleagues from Singapore, and I would under no circumstances label it as 'God forsaken' for a multitude of reasons.

    You don't go to another country and break its laws, and expect to be released scott-free, especially if you're a noted politician, journalist or celebrity.

    I wouldn't want someone from Singapore, or any other country, coming to the US to commit any sort of crime or unlawful activity -- small or significant -- and expect to be released.

    Follow the rules, obey the laws. Simple as that.


    sure, if we can all also agree (none / 0) (#15)
    by cpinva on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 03:39:07 PM EST
    Can we all agree...
    ...that people who bring drugs into Singapore are idiots?

    that this, by definition, is oxymoronic. or perhaps just moronic:

    Their leadership is a family dynasty, but in most other respects they're reasonably democratic, with an independent judiciary.

    what we have here is a monarchy in everything but name. monarchies are, by nature, corrupt, and they corrupt everything around them. it's what they do. to even suggest otherwise displays a glaring lack of basic knowledge of the beast; monarchy and democracy cannot co-exist in the same country. can't be done.

    is it possible the "family" is itself involved in drug trafficing? i have no idea, just a thought. it would explain the harshness of penalties: how better to divert attention away from yourself, and conveniently eliminate potential business rivals, then by setting them up?

    as i say, i haven't a shred of evidence that this is the case at all, merely conjecture.

    In the context of Southeast Asia (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by MsExPat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 04:06:32 PM EST

    Their leadership is a family dynasty, but in most other respects they're reasonably democratic, with an independent judiciary.

    is not moronic, but fact. If I had to seek justice in any country in that region, I would want to be in a Singaporean court. In matters involving the death penalty, Singapore is the only country in the region that allows appeals to the British Privy Council.

    Next door, in Thailand, you can be put away for 20 years for speaking ill of the King. Cambodia? Laos? Utterly corrupt, clandestine societies.

    And, just over the border in Malaysia the other day, you have this kind of kangaroo justice--the arrest, for the second time, of Malaysia's opposition political leader Anwar Ibrahim:

    On Wednesday, Mr. Anwar was picked up by men in ski masks and hauled to police headquarters. He was interrogated for six hours, stripped and asked to supply a DNA sample -- a request he refused. He spent the night on a concrete floor without furniture and was released on bail Thursday morning. Malaysian media report that the government is exploring ways to compel Mr. Anwar to give DNA.

    Given the local alternatives, Singapore looks like London to me.


    sad (none / 0) (#16)
    by proudliberaldem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 04:04:16 PM EST
    even if he wasn't framed, even if he should have known better, the penalty is outrageous.  

    Is drug use actually lower in Singapore? (none / 0) (#21)
    by MarkL on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 04:58:17 PM EST
    I've known several people from there, and my impression was that drugs are readily available, for those who want them.

    Report from Singapore's Narcotics Bureau (none / 0) (#23)
    by MsExPat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:11:52 PM EST

    shows arrests in the range of 1000 for the first half of 2007.

    Most of the arrests are for a drug I never heard of before: buprenorphine.


    police involved in distribution most likely (none / 0) (#25)
    by bigbay on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:20:32 PM EST
    anytime you cut out the dealers, and there is demand to be met, well - it's pretty obvious where the supply comes from. Its also why the punishment is so harsh. Don't interfere with the racket.

    Singapore and Malaysia (none / 0) (#24)
    by JSF1 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:16:01 PM EST

    Singapore is more of a Confucian patriarchy - they had a hand-picked bureaucrat in between Lee Sr. and Lee Jr.  It is one of the most boring places in the world.  

    Malaysia is at least alive. The Malaysian opposition is finally gaining some power. The bad news is that the opposition includes the Islamists that took hold in some states after the Iranian revolution and, IMHO, perverted the Malay's natural cultural flexibility.

    Drugs are available, but a foreigner would be totally stupid to go near them. Unless he has personal problems, a set-up is not unlikely.

    O/T--Actually, it's good that Malay Islamists (none / 0) (#26)
    by MsExPat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:25:50 PM EST
    have joined up with the opposition party. It gives it legitimacy. The Malaysian opposition coalition is class-based, not race-based--it encompasses Chinese, Indians and Malays who are all fighting against the ruling Malay party's favoritism corruption.

    That's why the opposition is so powerful. That's why they won a historic victory in last February's elections (I was there, by the way.) And that's why the fearful, paranoid Malay government's just hauled Anwar Ibrahim into jail on outrageously trumped-up charges.


    Agreed ... (none / 0) (#27)
    by JSF1 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:36:10 PM EST

    Yes, PAS makes the opposition more powerful and the move to class-based versus race-based politics is good and long-overdue.  Any break in the wall helps ordinary people and makes the government more responsible and less corrupt.

    I just don't trust PAS. They are bad news for women.


    And I have to agree Singapore is boring (none / 0) (#29)
    by MsExPat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 06:01:49 PM EST
    Since I am a proud, part-time inhabitant of Hong Kong.

    But I must admit, Singapore is not at all boring in the food department. When you've got the Five Star's Hainan Chicken Rice, who needs drugs?


    I don't know anything about meth amounts--would a (none / 0) (#28)
    by jawbone on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:43:34 PM EST
    gram--well, 8/10's of a gram--be saleable? How much is needed for a usual dose?

    The urine test could have been doctored, he could have been shot up by someone, or, he could be one unluckly dumb reporter. The latter sounds unlikely, but drug addiction can do terrible things to people and their judgement, I've heard.

    1 gram is equal to a regular paperclip (none / 0) (#34)
    by myiq2xu on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:51:49 PM EST
    or the weight of a dollar bill.

    A single "dose" of meth is about 1/10 of a gram, but the smallest unit of sale is about 1/4 gram.

    Typically a dealer will purchase at least an "eight-ball" to break-up for sale. An eight-ball is 1/8 of an ounce, or 3.5 grams.

    Absent additional evidence of intent to sell, 1 gram is usually consider "personal use" in US courts.


    T/U for the info. The only reason I could even (none / 0) (#41)
    by jawbone on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:45:18 PM EST
    imagine for someone like this reporter to bring meth with him might be that some use it to intensify sex.

    But with his knowledge of what could go wrong?  

    I wonder who he ticked off....


    Drugs in Singapore is Big No No (none / 0) (#32)
    by Need2Win on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 07:14:39 PM EST
    What is it with Australians and drug importation.
    You'd think he'd have learned about the harsh drug laws in S.E Asia that he has covered.

    The last Australian to be hanged in Singapore for drug traffiking was Nguyen Tuong Van in 2005.


    One question (none / 0) (#33)
    by tek on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:06:20 PM EST
     Did he know he was breaking the law?  Americans really need to get away from framing purposeful lawbreakers as some kind of sympathetic characters.  Once you start down the path of rationalizing the acceptability of breaking one set of laws, there's no end to that path.

    like (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jen M on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 01:54:21 PM EST

    the answer to the question as to why (none / 0) (#35)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:28:24 PM EST
    someone would knowingly break the law and bring drugs into the country is simple ie they are are addicts. being addicted to something removes common sense and good judgment as far as the drug of their choice is concerned. i have a family friend who dated an addict. she went to mexico with him last year and he had marijunia in his suitcase. she is an attorney so you can imagine what would have happened had he been caught.

    If he was addicted (none / 0) (#36)
    by weltec2 on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 02:32:02 AM EST
    to something and he couldn't help himself, why didn't he have what he was addicted to in his luggage instead of marijuana? Also, it sounds very wierd going TO Mexico with weed in one's suitcase. That's like taking sand to Iraq.

    well i am not privy to a lot of information (none / 0) (#40)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 11:58:34 AM EST
    about him. i understand he has actually grown it in his home so apparently it is one of his drugs of choice. i would add that the mind of an addict doesn't always work in a logical manner.