Cheong Chun Yin

In June 2008, Chun Yin arrived in Singapore’s Changi Airport. He had just come from Myanmar carrying a black suitcase. Chun Yin believed that the suitcase contained gold bars that he was supposed to be smuggling for a friend who wanted to evade tax. He handed the bag over to a woman at the airport before leaving.

Chun Yin was later arrested when he alighted from a taxi in Arab Street. When he was arrested, he did not have the suitcase with him. He was then taken to a flat where the suitcase was found. The “gold bars” that he thought had been hidden in the lining turned out to be 2.7kg of heroin.

During his interrogation, Chun Yin cooperated with the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers and gave them the name, physical description and phone numbers of his contact, a man who had gone by the name of Lau De. However, the CNB did not make any effort to investigate.

Chun Yin was convicted and sentenced to death under the Mandatory Death Penalty stipulated in the Misuse of Drugs Act by High Court Judge Choo Han Teck. In his written judgment, Judge Choo stated, “I did not find his [Cheong] testimony convincing and I was of the view that his evidence did not create any reasonable doubt in my mind that he might not have known that he was carrying heroin.”

Judge Choo then went on to say, “It was immaterial that the CNB did not make adequate efforts to trace Lau De or check on his cell-phones. The absence of any trace of Lau De was not taken as evidence in favour of or against either accused.” [Judgment]

The Court of Appeal dismissed Cheong’s appeal in October 2010. Here is the judgment from the Court of Appeal.

[Judgment was downloaded from The Online Citizen]

[Court of Appeal Judgment was downloaded from We Believe in Second Chances]


Here is a short documentary about Singaporean lawyer M Ravi as he travels to Malaysia to visit the father of death row inmate, Cheong Chun Yin.

Further reading:

Please DO NOT execute Cheong Chun Yin (petition)

Cheong Chun Yin and the Mandatory Death Penalty in Singapore

Mr Cheong’s story

Regarding Khor Soon Lee’s appeal and an appeal for Cheong Chun Yin