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SINGAPORE

Judicial CP - June 1996



masthead

The New Paper, Singapore, 5 June 1996

One loud yell ruins easy money plan

By Alethea Lim in Singapore

Mugshot
Sentenced: Richard Chew Ban Chuan, to five years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane for attempted gang robbery

IT was an outrageous plan. All it took was a loud yell to kill it.

After an entire evening of planning, five youths set out to make money from a man.

The plan: Ring his doorbell and either borrow money from him - or accuse him of owing one of them a billiards debt and lure him to the void deck.

The result: The man shouted for help and the youths were caught.

Two of them, Richard Chew Ban Chuan, 20, and Wong Peng Soon, 17, were charged in the Subordinate Courts yesterday for attempted gang robbery.

Out drinking with their friends on the evening of Oct 2, Chew and Wong plotted how to get some money out of Mr Danny Loh, 36.

Wong and another youth, Wee Chao Chi, 15, knew Mr Loh. The others joined in discussions held at coffeeshops in Bishan Street 24 and Yishun Avenue 5. These lasted from early evening till midnight.

After that, the gang headed for Block 106 Yishun Ring Road to Mr Loh's flat. By the time Wee arrived at Mr Loh's flat - on the pretext of borrowing $50 from him - it was 1.15 am on Oct 3.

Mr Loh refused to lend Wee the money and scolded him for disturbing him in the middle of the night. He then asked Wee to leave. The rest of his gang were waiting at the void deck. Wong then accompanied Wee to demand money from Mr Loh again.

Confronted youth

BUT Mr Loh chased both of them away. Chew then went up to Mr Loh's flat with another youth and accused Mr Loh of owing Wong money.

The gang's plan seemed to work when Mr Loh decided to come to the void deck to sort out the matter. At the void deck, Mr Loh confronted Wong, who insisted that the victim owed him $3,500 in billiard debts.

Mr Loh decided to call the police. Chew and another youth then grabbed hold of Mr Loh.

But he managed to free himself and ran from the gang, shouting "Robbery" many times.

On hearing Mr Loh's call for help, the gang fled in different directions.

At about 1.33 am, Mr Loh reported the incident to the police. The gang was then arrested in Yishun.

The case

AT the Subordinate Courts yesterday, Richard Chew Ban Chuan, 20, and Wong Peng Soon, 17, pleaded guilty to attempted gang robbery.

The charge carries a minimum of five years' jail and a maximum of 20 years. It also includes caning of no fewer than 12 strokes.

Three other youths involved in the attempted robbery - Lee Lip Khoon, 17, Lim Yong Wah, 20, and Wee Chao Chi, 15 - have been put on probation.

In mitigation, Mr Chandra Mohan, the lawyer representing the youths, said Chew, a bartender, and Wong, a waiter, had apologised to Mr Danny Loh.

He asked District Judge Syed Alwee to consider Wong for probation because of his age.

But Deputy Public Prosecutor Hay Hung Chun told the judge that the request for probation was inappropriate because of the gang's "meticulous" planning.

After a 15-minute adjournment, the judge sentenced Chew to five years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane.

The judge then called for a pre-sentencing report for Wong for both the Reformative Training Centre and probation.




masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 6 June 1996

Robber who hit Japanese tourist gets jail and cane

By David Miller

A MAN who robbed and punched a 56-year-old Japanese woman tourist during a robbery at The Oriental hotel was sentenced to 10 years' jail and 16 strokes of the cane yesterday. Another woman who was allegedly assaulted by the man's accomplice in the robbery on June 6, 1994, died shortly after the attack.

Abdul Rahman Arshad, 32, who is currently serving a 20-month jail sentence for shoplifting and fraudulent possession of property, pleaded guilty to the amended charge of robbery with hurt.

He was originally charged jointly with his accomplice, Abdul Nasir Amer Hamsah, 25, with murder.

The court was told that the two men went to the hotel that day to apply for a job.

Later in the lobby, they saw a group of Japanese tourists, and Abdul Nasir suggested that they commit a robbery. They followed the two women to their room and pounced as the door was about to close.

Abdul Rahman punched and slapped his victim, Madam Takishita Miyoko, repeatedly, until she curled up on the floor to avoid further blows. He then stole her 70,000 yen (S$1,000) watch and her waistpouch containing her passport and 65,000 yen.

Meanwhile, Abdul Nasir allegedly assaulted the woman's roommate, Madam Fujii Isae, 49. The woman, who suffered serious facial injuries, died a few minutes later.

Madam Takishita, a cleaner, suffered bruises and abrasions and was treated as an outpatient.

Both men were arrested earlier this year. In urging the court to impose a deterrent sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Lionel Tan said the case had several aggravating factors.

He pointed out that the victim was an elderly and defenceless woman tourist, and that the robbery occurred in a luxury hotel where guests ought to feel safe.

The case received wide publicity and tarnished Singapore's reputation as a safe city among tourists and businessmen.

He also cited police statistics which showed that robbery with hurt cases in Singapore and general crimes committed in hotels here were both on the increase.

He said: "Based on the aggravating factors and the ramifications of the offence, it is submitted that a strong signal needs to be sent out, that such predatory crimes committed in hotels against foreign visitors will not be tolerated and that offenders, when they are apprehended, will be severely dealt with."

Mr Luke Lee, assigned defence counsel, said in his mitigation that the robbery was not his client's suggestion, and he was shocked to learn of the woman's death the next day.

In pleading for leniency, he said his client, the eldest of eight children, was remorseful and accepted that he must be punished. He also said the man's victim was not seriously hurt.

Judicial Commissioner Amarjeet Singh, in delivering the verdict, called the robbery a "very cowardly attack".




masthead

The New Paper, Singapore, 12 June 1996

Cut up for a prize watch

By Jill Lim in Singapore

Mugshot
Sentenced: Lim Chiew Seng gets seven years' jail and 12 strokes.

Lim Chiew Seng was sentenced yesterday to seven years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane for trying to rob a man of his watch and then stabbing him. Our reporter reports

EVER since he bought the Rolex watch three years back newspaper vendor Lee Kok Chin had been wearing it with pride.

But on Feb 2 this year, the flashing watch caught the eye of a desperate man. Lim Chiew Seng saw the $5,200 Rolex when he was buying a paper at Mr Lee's news stand in Yishun.

Since then, Mr Lee's favourite possession became his worst nightmare.

Four days later, armed with a kitchen knife, Lim trailed Mr Lee back to his Yishun home. "Robbery! I want your watch!" Lim shouted while brandishing a knife and stabbing Mr Lee repeatedly.

Family to the rescue

Mr Lee would not let go of his watch. His sons and daughter came to the rescue and the attacker was arrested.

But Mr Lee has not worn his favourite watch since. The Rolex has been held as evidence in the case in which Lim was sentenced yesterday.

He sustained severe injuries during the attack and later underwent two operations on his arm. His youngest son, Mr Lee Heng Wah, 30, a printer, told The New Paper: "His left hand is almost paralysed. It's quite weak. He can't really press the lift button, and he can't hold a fork or spoon properly."

And he does not wear a watch. "I bought him a cheap watch and he won't wear that. Definitely, he won't wear a Rolex again," said his son.

Mr Lee disagreed strongly. "The watch that my son bought was very heavy for my wrist. I am waiting for my Rolex," he said.

The case

LIM, 31, unemployed, needed money badly as the loansharks he owed were pressing him for repayment.

He trailed Mr Lee home. When the lift doors opened at the fifth floor, where Mr Lee's flat is located, Lim stormed in and stabbed him in the arm and chest.

Mr Lee shoved Lim away, and ran out, yelling for help. His son and daughter, hearing the shouts, went to help.

They were joined by another brother, 32, a neighbour, and two other people.

The police arrived two minutes later and arrested Lim.

Mr Lee was sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and warded for two days.




masthead

The New Paper, Singapore, 13 June 1996

Marsiling molester jailed 6 years

Mohammed Ismail Ariffin molested six women this year, five of them in Marsiling. He pleaded guilty in the Subordinate Courts yesterday

By Chan Seet Fun

Mugshot
Mohammed Ismail: Police raided his flat after a tip-off.
  • On March 18, he molests 32-year-old woman
  • On April 21, he molests 41-year-old woman
  • In all, he molests six women, five of them in Marsiling.

MOHAMMED Ismail was the Menace of Marsiling.

He terrorised women in that area. He was shameless.

On March 18, he grabbed a woman's right hand and asked: "Can I kiss you?" When she said, "No", he dropped his pants and exposed himself at the staircase landing of her block.

He had trailed the 32-year-old woman from a bus they had taken earlier, to Block 9, Marsiling Drive at about 9.30 pm. When she got off the lift at the 13th floor, he followed suit. He then followed her down the stairs.

When he exposed himself at the staircase landing between the 12th and 13th floors, the woman ran. But he chased her and told her that he had a knife.

He ordered her back to the staircase where he kissed her mouth and left armpit. He then masturbated in front of her. When the woman ran back to her flat, he pulled up his pants and went home.

A month later, he did it again.

On April 21 at about 8.50 am, he trailed another woman from a market back to her block at Marsiling Lane.

The 41-year-old woman took the lift while he sprinted up the stairs. As she walked out of the lift at the sixth floor, he pressed her left breast.

The woman screamed and ran. But even so, he managed to touch her buttocks twice.

However, the woman's screams alerted her husband who came out of their flat. He chased after Mohammed Ismail but lost him near the next block.

In all, he molested six women - five in Marsiling.

But his luck ran out on May 13 when police raided his flat at Block 1, Marsiling Lane after a tip-off. After arresting him for molest, police also found controlled drugs in his flat.

Yesterday in the Subordinate Courts, Mohammed Ismail also admitted to drug possession and consumption.

He was jailed six years and will also receive six strokes of the cane.

He has had similar convictions previously.




masthead

The Straits Times, 19 June 1996

Ex-members of secret society get jail, cane, for ganging up to hurt man

THREE youths who were secret society members were each jailed four years and ordered to be caned 10 strokes for ganging up to hurt a man.

Fan Wai Hoe, 18, Teo Yoong Hwa, 19, and Goh Wei Meng, 17, pleaded guilty on Monday to being part of an unlawful assembly and rioting while armed with a deadly weapon.

A fourth youth, Toh Kim Shu, 19, who was a member of the same gang, was sentenced to three years' jail and six strokes of the cane for rioting.

All four were involved in a secret society clash on Jan 29 last year, a fight which resulted in a member of a rival gang being stabbed to death. The four, together with about 15 other members of the Sio Loh Kuan secret society, gathered at Block 43, Ballater Close to be briefed on an upcoming "settlement talk" with the rival Pek Kim Leng secret society, at the Lavender Food Square in Jalan Besar.

That night, Fan and Teo loaded a garbage bag containing two axes, baseball bats and wooden poles into a van.

The weapons were distributed when they arrived in Jalan Besar. Fan wielded an axe, Teo had a baseball bat while Goh had a wooden pole.

Toh acted as a look-out and stayed inside the van which was parked by the roadside.

The two gangs fought and threw bottles and glasses about.

Then the Sio Loh Kuan gang re-grouped at the van and fled.

Mr Ng Hang Chai, 38, who belonged to the Pek Kim Leng secret society, was found dead with a dagger in his chest.

The maximum penalty for rioting is five years' jail and a caning.

For rioting with a deadly weapon, it is seven years' jail and a caning.




masthead

The New Paper, Singapore, 21 June 1996

He was a car-a-day thief

By Crispina Robert

HE was a car-a-day thief.

Suppiah M, a 39-year-old unemployed man, stole 24 vehicles in less than a month. His favourite brand was Toyota.

Between April 23 and May 14, he stole 19 vans, four cars and a station wagon.

Seventeen of the vehicles were Toyotas. The rest were a mix of Mazdas, Datsuns and Mitsubishis.

He looked for unattended vehicles. He would then use a duplicate key to open the door and start the engine.

The car thief did not stick to one area.

He roamed from Yishun, where he lived, to Jurong, Teban Gardens and Serangoon North.

All the vehicles were recovered because the car thief abandoned them after using them.

...Until he was grounded by $1,000 jewellery

He stole 24 vehicles in less than a month and got away with it.

But his stealing spree screeched to a halt after he met a girl.

At first, he wanted to give her a ride in his stolen van. But later, he was tempted by the $1,000-jewellery she was wearing.

Suppiah, 39, decided to rob her - and ended up paying for all his crimes instead.

His stealing spree began on April 23, when he stole a station wagon.

Met a barmaid

Over the next 19 days - till May 11 - he continued stealing a vehicle a day, sometimes more.

On May 11, after stealing three vans, Suppiah went to a pub at Duxton Road. There he met a barmaid. After chatting with her, he offered to give her a lift home in one of the stolen vans.

By then, he had already stolen 18 vans, four saloons and a station wagon.

The girl accepted his offer and they left the pub at 2 am.

After they had supper, Suppiah dropped her home.

The next day, at about 3.50 pm, he went back to her block and waited for her to go to work.

When Suppiah spotted the girl, he whistled and asked her if she would like a lift.

The girl agreed and they left in a van that Suppiah had stolen the day before.

Along the way, Suppiah noticed the girl was wearing gold jewellery. He decided to rob her. He said he had to drive to Tuas before he could drop her at the pub.

Robbed barmaid of jewellery

In Tuas, he whipped out a paper-cutter and asked her to hand over her jewellery.

He then drove off, leaving her behind.

Two days later, on May 14, Suppiah stole another van.

But the law caught up with him when the robbed barmaid made a police report. The police arrested Suppiah on May 17 at another pub.

But far from nabbing a small-time robber, they discovered they had caught one of Singapore's busiest car thieves.

Some of the jewellery was recovered.

Suppiah also surrendered the paper-cutter he had used in the robbery.

He was sentenced to five years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane.




masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 22 June 1996

Three nabbed in hotel raid sentenced for drug offences

THREE people were sentenced in a district court yesterday in related cases involving drugs.

District Judge Seng Kwang Boon heard that on April 12 this year, police raided a room in the Guillemard Hotel, off Geylang Lorong 18, and arrested Teo Choon Chwee, 43, Chua Kwee Lian, 30, and Linda Liew Hwee Ling, 22.

In the room, police found more than 20 sachets of heroin, weighing a total of 10.21 g, 50 Upjohn tablets and utensils believed to be for drug consumption.

An identity card belonging to Gan See Choo was seized from Teo.

All three were detained and their urine samples were taken for analysis.

Teo pleaded guilty to the seven charges he faced for various offences.

He was given 20 years' imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane for heroin trafficking and, for possession of the 50 Upjohn tablets, he was jailed for two years.

He was fined $2,000 for consuming morphine.

Teo, who had been released from a drug rehabilitation centre on June 30 last year, also faced three charges of failing to report for urine tests.

He was fined $2,000 on each count.

And for the unlawful possession of an identity card, he was fined $4,000.

Chua was fined $5,000 for possession of 0.07 gm of heroin, and a further $2,000 for drug consumption.

The third accused, Liew, who is a first offender, was fined $2,000 for drug consumption.

Anyone found guilty of drug consumption or drug possession may be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000, while drug trafficking carries a maximum sentence of 30 years' jail and 15 strokes of the cane.

Failure to turn up for urine testing carries a maximum $10,000 fine and four years' jail, while unlawful possession of identity cards carries a maximum penalty of five years' jail in addition to a $5,000 fine.




masthead

The New Paper, Singapore, 26 June 1996

1989 and 1990: Man molests his girlfriend's daughter
1992: Daughter tells friend about molest

1995: Mom marries man who molested girl

By Alethea Lim

THE girl was twice molested by her mother's boyfriend.

But that did not stop the mother, Madam Aminah (not her real name) from marrying him last year.

Yesterday, she even turned up in court to offer him support.

This was a day after Jufree (not his real name) had pleaded guilty to two charges of molest.

The couple have not been named to protect the girl's identity.

Madam Aminah looked upset when she heard the sentence -- 2 years' jail and six strokes of the cane.

The mother of three went up to Jufree, 43, who stood in the dock, and spoke to him for about 20 minutes.

Jufree, then a security guard, had molested Madam Aminah's daughter on two occasions at his Bendemeer flat six years ago.

Madam Aminah, a production operator, got to know Jufree, in 1988 and moved in with him.

Lived with boyfriend

A year later, she brought her 12-year-old daughter and two sons, then aged eight and 11, to live with her boyfriend.

The same year, while the daughter was alone with Jufree, he forced her to perform oral sex on him.

He molested the girl again in 1990 after sending her brothers on an errand. Madam Aminah was working that morning.

When Jufree was alone with the girl, he forced her to strip naked and molested her.

In 1990, the three children were sent to a welfare home.

Jufree's lawyer, Mr Ismail Hamid, told the court yesterday that this was because Madam Aminah and Jufree could not be "good disciplinarians".

The daughter remained silent about the molest incidents until 1992 when she confided in a friend at the home.

She made a police report on the advice of the staff at the home who heard about the incidents.

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