Man Who Used Delivery Service for Meth Jailed After Drugs Sent to Wrong Address

It can be annoying when a package is delivered to the wrong address—but for one man in Singapore, a courier's mistake is costing him jail time.

On Thursday, 37-year-old Marvin Chew Xuan Han was sentenced to two years in jail, reported Singapore-based news outlet TODAY. Han, a volleyball coach, pleaded guilty on charges relating to a drug exchange gone wrong. Specifically, Han attempted to use an app-based courier service to send methamphetamine to a friend—but he was caught after the delivery person brought the parcel to a neighboring apartment by mistake.

The case is a distinctly modern one: according to an International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) report from 2020, the use of delivery services to transport drugs was on the rise—a fact which they attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency said they "​​received reports from police in Ireland, Malaysia, Spain and the United Kingdom identifying delivery drivers transporting drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, ketamine and ecstasy."

"Country-wide lockdowns have sharply increased demand for home-delivered food and delivery drivers are a common sight on otherwise deserted streets," they noted. "Delivery riders may be complicit or unwitting links in drug transportation."

The latter appears to have been the case in the incident involving Han, which occurred in May of last year. According to The Straits Times, Han used the app-based service Lalamove, which provides consumers with on-demand delivery drivers, to send a package containing methamphetamine to the home of an acquaintance.

The plan didn't go smoothly: the Lalamove courier brought the package to the wrong apartment, where it was received by a woman who lived at the address. She reportedly contacted the police after noticing that the package appeared suspicious.

The intended recipient, 35-year-old Joo Jian Beng, had arranged for the drugs to be picked up from Han via Lalamove and brought to his fifth-floor apartment. Han gave the narcotics-containing package to the delivery person, along with a $12 payment for the task.

However, when Beng received a text from Lalamove later that night confirming the successful delivery, the package was nowhere to be found.

Beng called the delivery person, reported The Straits Times, who admitted that they may have accidentally brought the package to a sixth-floor address instead. He then went to the apartment to ask for the package back, but the woman at the address refused and called the authorities.

Han pleaded guilty to two counts of consuming a controlled drug, and one count of possessing no less than 2.03g of methamphetamine, reported TODAY. Beng, meanwhile, had already been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in the crime.

Delivery Courier
Marvin Chew Xuan Han, a volleyball coach, was sentenced to two years in jail after attempting to use an app-based courier service to send methamphetamine to a friend. Two delivery people riding bikes in Spain, 2020. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images