IN THE COURT OF APPEAL, MALAYSIA AT PUTRAJAYA (APPELLATE JURISDICTION)
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO: P-05-323-11/2011
R. NADARAJAN A/L RAJAGOPAL … APPELLANT
PUBLIC PROSECUTOR … RESPONDENT
(In the Matter of High Court of Malaya at Pulau Pinang Criminal Trial No: 45-26-2011
Public Prosecutor And
R. Nadarajan a/l Rajagopal)
BALIA YUSOF BIN HAJI WAHI, JCA MOHTARUDIN BIN BAKI, JCA TENGKU MAIMUN BINTI TUAN MAT, JCA
JUDGMENT OF THE COURT
 The appellant, with another person still at large, were charged for trafficking in 456.3 grams of dangerous drugs (238.2 grams of Heroin and 218.1 grams of Monoacetylmorphines), an offence punishable under section 39B(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (the Act) read with section 34 of the Penal Code.
 The case for the prosecution in gist is as follows. On 30.4.2009 at about 3.30pm, customs officers raided Room 304, Hotel Perai Jaya. The raiding team had to use force to enter the room. When the raiding team entered the room, the appellant was found lying on one of the beds. The appellant put up a struggle before he was finally apprehended by SP3 and his team. Although the room was rented by one Paranjothi a/l Muniandi on 27.4.2009, the evidence of the receptionist (SP2) revealed that the appellant stayed in the room alone from 27.4.2009 until 30.4.2009.
 The raiding team recovered two bags from the room. The first bag was a green bag, found in between the floor of the beds. Inside the bag, some clothes and an Indian goddess frame were found and upon removal of those items, 9 brown envelopes were recovered. Each of the envelopes contained a transparent plastic packet containing a mixture of powdery and granular substance. The second bag was black in colour, found underneath the unoccupied bed. Inside the bag, there were some clothes. Upon removal of the clothes, another 9 brown plastic packets were recovered. The envelopes contained the same substance as in the envelopes recovered from the first bag. The clothes in the bags belonged to the appellant.
 The chemist (SP1) confirmed the nett weight of the substances found in the 18 envelopes to be 456.3 grams i.e. 238.2 gram of Heroin and 218.1 grams of Monoacetylmorphines. This formed the subject matter of the amended charge against the appellant.
 At the end of the prosecution’s case, the learned trial judge made the following finding on possession:-
“Keterangan SP 2 and SP 7 menunjukkan bahawa tertuduh seorang saja yang menginap di bilik No. 304 daripada 27/4/2009 hingga 30/4/2009. SP2 memberitahu bahawa beliau yang membeli makanan sebanyak dua kali bagi tertuduh pada lewat malam. Sungguhpun Paranjothi mendaftarkan untuk bilik dan mengambil kunci tetapi tidak ada keterangan bahawa beliau pernah duduk di dalam bilik No. 304.
Tertuduh mempunyai kunci bilik dan ini bermakna beliau mempunyai kawalan ke atas kedua-dua beg yang mengandungi dadah.
Justeru itu, anggapan di bawah seksyen 37(d) Akta Dadah Berbahaya 1952 (Akta 234 terpakai).
Sungguhpun keterangan pihak pendakwa menunjukkan pintu bilik diketuk selama lebih kurang 10 minit beberapa kali tetapi tertuduh masih tidak membuka pintu. Ini menunjukkan bahawa yang sebenarnya tertuduh mempunyai pengetahuan mengenai dadah di dalam dua beg dan enggan membuka pintu. Alasan bahawa beliau memikirkan ada ketukan di sebelah pintu bilik adalah tidak logik oleh kerana ketukan berlarutan selama kira-kira 10 minit. Jika pada mulanya tertuduh salah mendengar seolah-olah ketukan atas pintu bilik di sebelah bilik adalah munasabah tetapi dalam kes ini
ketukan berpanjangan begitu lama maka beliau seharusnya dapat membezakan di mana bunyi ketukan itu datang.”
 As for trafficking, the learned trial judge found:-
“Tertuduh didapati menerima (receiving) dan menyimpan (keeping) dua beg yang mengandungi dadah. Oleh itu, Seksyen 2 Akta 234 terpakai.
Teh Geok Hock v PP  3 MLJ 162(SC) memutuskan bahawa definisi ‘pengedaran’ terkandung dalam Akta Dadah Berbahaya 1952 adalah luas dan termasuk bukan sahaja ‘buying’ dan ‘selling’ tetapi juga ‘carrying’, ‘concealing’ dan ‘keeping’.
Pada masa kejadian, tertuduh didapati hanya seorang bersama dengan dadah dan tiada ada orang lain di dalam bilik hotel. Oleh yang demikian, beliau mempunyai kuasa pelupusan ke atas dua beg yang mengandungi dadah.
Mahkamah mendapati bahawa pihak pendakwaan juga dapat membuktikan niat bersama di bawah seksyen 34 Kanun Keseksaan. Keterangan SP2 dan SP7 menunjukkan bahawa Paranjothi a/l Muniandi tidak dapat dikesan. ..
Paranjothi membuat tempahan bilik hotel No. 304 dan telah membayar deposit sebanyak RM20.00 sebagai tempat persediaan bagi tertuduh menyimpan dadah tersebut. Kemudian tertuduh menginap di dalam bilik tersebut bersama dengan dadah.”
 Having found that the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against the appellant, the learned trial judge called upon the appellant to enter his defence.
 The appellant denied having any knowledge of the drugs. His defence was that he was an innocent carrier. The version of the appellant was that he was brought to the hotel by Ah Seng and Peter; that the two bags were brought into the room by Ah Seng and Peter; that the appellant met Ah Seng and Peter when he was looking for a job and that the appellant was told to wait at Room 304. To support his defence, the appellant tendered three cautioned statements (exhibits D18, D19 and D20).
 At the end of the defence case, the learned trial judge found that there were material contradictions in the evidence of the appellant and that the appellant had failed to raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case. The appellant was convicted and sentenced to death, hence the appeal.
 Learned counsel for the appellant raised the following grounds of appeal:-
(i) There was a doubt as to the identity of the drugs and thus a break in the chain of evidence.
(ii) The learned trial judge erred in relying on the presumption under section 37(d) and in invoking section 2 of the Act.
(iii) The learned trial judge did not sufficiently consider the defence.
(iv) The evidence of the prosecution witnesses was illogical and improbable.
 The first issue centred on the different description by the prosecution witnesses of the drug exhibits; the difference in weight in the original charge and the amended charge and on the five-hour gap between the time when the drugs were seized by the raiding officer (SP4) and the time the exhibits were surrendered to the investigating officer (SP6).
 We noted that during the trial, there was no challenge by the defence of the drug exhibits. Neither was there any challenge that the drugs analysed by SP1 were not the same drugs which were seized by SP4 and surrendered to SP6 and for which the appellant was charged.
 Be that as it may, we find that the discrepancy in the weight as stated in the original charge (being 8.229 kilogram of Heroin) and the amended charge does not affect the prosecution’s case. Notwithstanding that there was a five hour gap between the time the drugs were seized and the surrender to the investigating officer, the movement of the drugs was properly accounted for. Further, although SP1 said that the substances were ‘bahan ketulan dan serbuk berwarna kecoklatan’, SP4 described the drugs as ‘warna coklat dalam bentuk ketulan dan serbuk’ while SP6 said the drugs were ‘ketulan berwarna putih keperangan’ the exhibits were identified in court by SP4, SP6 and SP1 based on their signatures and markings. In the circumstances, there is no doubt that the drugs seized from the appellant were the same drugs sent for analysis and tendered in court. We therefore find that there was no break in the chain of evidence.
 In respect of the application of section 37(d) and section 2 of the Act, learned counsel for the appellant submitted that there must be some mens rea and some overt act on the part of the appellant and that for section 2 to apply, there must evidence of sale or dealing whereas in this case there was no evidence adduced by the prosecution that the appellant had any intention to sell or trade with the drugs.
 In our view, there was no error on the part of the learned trial judge to find possession under section 37(d) and trafficking under section 2. And we are not able to agree with learned counsel that for section 2 to apply, there must be evidence of sale or dealing in the drugs. Trafficking, by definition under section 2, includes keeping. The authorities are clear on this (see PP v Abdul Manaf bin Muhamad Hassan  3 MLJ 193; Teuku Nawardin Syamsuar v PP  3 CLJ 353).
 On the evaluation of the defence, it was the submission of learned counsel that Paranjothi could be Peter as the appellant had testified that Peter is an Indian man. Peter and Ah Seng are not ficititious characters. In this respect the complaint was that although the learned trial judge did make a finding that Paranjothi does exist and that Paranjothi and the appellant were trafficking together by common intention, the learned trial judge failed to consider whether the appellant was an innocent carrier.
 We find no merit in this ground raised by learned counsel for the appellant. The learned trial judge had sufficiently considered the defence as can be seen from the following passages in the grounds of judgment:-
“Samada tertuduh adalah seorang “innocent carrier” yang telah dieksploitasikan oleh “Ah Seng” dan “Peter” seperti yang didakwa?
Mahkamah mendapati beberapa percanggahan yang amat ketara di antara D18, D19 dan D20 dan keterangan tertuduh yang diberikan olehnya semasa perbicaraan dijalankan. Percanggahan yang material telah pun menjejaskan kredibiliti tertuduh.
Tertuduh sendiri mengaku bahawa ketiga-tiga pernyataan beramarannya menjadi asas pembelaannya.
 The learned trial judge then sets out the material contradictions (pg 35 AR) and after which His Lordship said:-
“Lagi pun terdapat percanggahan yang ketara dalam keterangan tertuduh di mahkamah. Dalam pemeriksaan utama, tertuduh memberi keterangan bahawa beliau telah memperolehi kerja kontrak di kilang di Bayan Baru dan menerima tawaran kerja yang akan bermula pada 01/05/2009.
Sebaliknya apabila disoal balas, tertuduh menjelaskan bahawa beliau berjumpa dengan Ah Seng dan Peter untuk mencari kerja “kerana saya terpaksa tunggu satu bulan untuk dapat kerja baru. Sementara itu saya perlu kerja”.
Kesemua percanggahan yang amat material dan ketara telah pun menjejaskan kebolehpercayaan tertuduh. Oleh yang demikian mahkamah tidak memberi begitu banyak keterangan berat (probative value) kepada keterangannya.
Kedua-dua watak ini iaitu Ah Seng dan Peter yang dikatakan tidak wujud (at the risk of repetition) dan direkapalsu semata-matanya untuk
mempersalahkan dengan kesalahan yang tertuduh dituduh. Keterangan yang dikemukakan menunjukkan tertuduh bukan seorang “innocent carrier” sebagaimana yang didakwa.
Keterangan mengikut keadaan (circumstantial evidence) menunjukkan bahawa tertuduh bersama dengan Paranjothi a/l Muniandi (yang telah hilang diri sejak penangkapan tertuduh) merancang untuk melakukan kesalahan. Kewujudan Paranjothi menunjukkan tertuduh bukanlah seorang “innocent carrier”.
 The final point raised by learned counsel for the appellant was on the evidence of the prosecution witnesses as to the knocking of the door for 10 minutes which was contended to be improbable and illogical. This ground in our view is devoid of any merit. What happened prior to the entry into the room and prior to the discovery of the drugs would have little weight and of no significance given the unchallenged evidence that the appellant was alone in the room where the bags containing the drugs (which also contained the personal belongings of the appellant) were kept.
 Based on the foregoing, it is our judgment that the conviction is safe. We unanimously dismissed the appeal and affirmed the conviction and sentence of the High Court.
(TENGKU MAIMUN BINTI TUAN MAT) Judge
Court of Appeal, Malaysia
Dated 29th April 2014
For the Appellant:
Chong Yin Xin
Messrs. Thong Seng Kong & Associates
Advocates and Solicitors
26-1, PJS 8/18
46150 Petaling Jaya.
For the Respondent:
Kwan Li Sa
Timbalan Pendakwa Raya Jabatan Peguam Negara Bahagian Perbicaraan dan Rayuan Aras 5, No. 45, Lot 4G7 Presint 4, Persiaran Perdana 62100 Putrajaya.