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SINGAPORE

Judicial CP - December 1998



masthead
New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 4 December 1998

Six years, caning for smuggling in illegal immigrants

By Sim Bak Heng

SINGAPORE, Thurs. - A Malaysian driver was today sentenced to six years' jail and ordered to be given the maximum 24 strokes of the rotan after he pleaded guilty to 10 charges of smuggling illegal immigrants into the republic.

Nadarajah K. Perumal, 41, who was unrepresented, pleaded guilty to the offence in the Subordinate Court here today.

Also produced before District Judge Lau Wing Yum were 27 illegal immigrants that Nadarajah had tried to smuggle into the country by hiding them inside special compartments of an empty tanker he was driving.

The illegal immigrants, who also pleaded guilty to illegal entry, were sentenced to a month's jail and four strokes of the rotan each for men, and a month's jail and S$2,000 (RM4,600) fine each for the four women.

Perumal was arrested last Sunday night when police manning the Woodlands checkpoint stopped the tanker he was driving and discovered the illegal immigrants hidden inside the empty vehicle.

He had told police an agent in Johor Baru had offered him RM30 for every illegal immigrant he was able to smuggle into Singapore.

The foreigners made up of 23 Thais, including the four women, and four Chinese nationals, were nabbed about 15 minutes after the driver had left the checkpoint.

Copyright 1998, The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad. All Rights Reserved.




masthead
Straits Times, Singapore, 10 December 1998

'Master' gets jail for molest

A 44-YEAR-OLD man was sentenced to nine months' jail and three strokes of the cane yesterday after being found guilty of molesting a woman during a supposed "treatment".

Low Hui Liang, an odd-job labourer, is appealing against his conviction.

The offences took place at a flat in New Upper Changi Road on June 24 last year.

The jail sentences are concurrent. His total sentence is nine months and three strokes of the cane.

He was sentenced to nine months' jail and two strokes of the cane for sucking and biting her nipples and putting his finger into her private parts.

For squeezing her breasts, he was sentenced to six months' jail and one stroke. Convicting him of both charges after an eight-day trial, District Judge Wong Sheng Kwai said the woman was a credible witness.

"I therefore accept the description of the acts that were done on her by the accused in the course of the alleged treatment," he said.

Even if by her conduct she seemed to have agreed to the acts, her consent was weakened based on a misconception that she was being treated.

The woman's evidence was heard in camera.

She said she had gone to see Low, who was known to her as "Master Liu", because she was troubled at work and did not know if she should continue with her job.

Low told her not to worry too much and that she should be able to carry on. After a while, the victim told Low that she felt "very difficult" but did not know what the matter was. She was in tears.

As there were others around, Low led her to the corridor, where she said that a ghost had entered her body. She had also dreamt that someone had pressed his body on her back.

Low told her there was no ghost, and that she was under a "love spell". She agreed to be "cleaned" by him.

The court heard that he wiped her back with a towel and chanted. Later on, he told her to take her off her panties and inserted his finger into her private parts.

She felt very frightened.

He got her to raise her hands, then he sucked and bit her breasts.

Defence counsel Ram Goswami said in mitigation that since the complaint, Low, a father of two, had stopped practising as a "master" as he realised that it was fraught with hazards.

Pleading for leniency, he urged the court not to impose a jail sentence or order caning.

But Deputy Public Prosecutor Carol Ling pointed out that what Low did could not be regarded as minor acts of molest because he had intruded into the victim's private parts.

Low could have been jailed for up to two years and caned or fined on each molest charge.

Copyright 1998 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.




masthead
Straits Times, Singapore, 11 December 1998

Man molested lover's daughters

A MARRIED man who molested his lover's teenage daughters was sentenced to 10 months' jail and three strokes of the cane yesterday. Gazali Abdul Rahman, 37, a storeman in a furniture showroom, molested the girls, aged 14 and 16, at their home when their mother was not in.

A district court heard that Gazali called the girls' house at 4 am on Sept 27 and asked for their mother. He had been drinking earlier.

Although the 14-year-old girl told him that her mother would only return in the morning, he called again at 5 am and said he would go to their house and wait.

He reached their flat in Jurong at 5.40 am, and later joined the 14-year-old girl in watching TV in her mother's bedroom.

He lay on the bed beside her and started talking to her and then embraced her. He then went on to squeeze her breast.

She pushed his hand away, but he put his hand under her T-shirt and touched her breast again.

When she pushed him away and tried to leave the bedroom, he grabbed her arms, and she had to struggle to free herself and return to her bedroom.

The court heard that later in the morning, he also molested her 16-year-old sister by squeezing her breasts and stroking her thigh.

A police report was made, and he was arrested.

In court yesterday, he pleaded guilty to one charge of molesting the 14-year-old girl.

Another charge of molesting the second girl was taken into consideration.

In mitigation, his lawyer, Mr Abdul Rohim Sarip, said that Gazali was married with three children and was very close to them.

He was having an affair with the victim's mother for more than a year and spent a considerable amount of time at their home without any incident, he added.

He had also apologised to the victim and also sought forgiveness from his family and vowed to be faithful to his wife.

Gazali, who had been jailed before for theft and robbery, could have been jailed for up to two years and caned for molest.

Copyright 1998 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.




masthead
Straits Times, Singapore, 17 December 1998

Jail, cane for rubbish chute burglar

Hawker on crime spree

A 29-YEAR-OLD hawker was sentenced to 10 years' jail, ordered to be given 24 strokes of the cane, slapped with a $2,000 fine and banned from driving for two years -- after a string of crimes that included burglary and robbery.

Oh Ban Keong, who has previous convictions for armed robbery, burglary and theft, had even jumped bail.

He pleaded guilty to 11 charges, and 29 other charges were considered in sentencing.

A district court heard that between May and July 1996, he broke into three shops by crawling up rubbish chutes to get to the second floor of the buildings before entering the shops on the first floor.

On May 28 that year, he broke into a medical hall in Yishun Avenue 5 and got away with $11,770 worth of property, including seven boxes of ginseng. He also broke into a bookstore and stole $8,400 worth of goods on June 17 that same year.

Then on July 2, he stole $8,440 worth of goods from a mini-mart. Both are also in Yishun Avenue 5. But he jumped bail after he was charged with these offences in 1996, the court heard on Tuesday.

He was arrested on Sept 10 this year for a series of burglaries in several places, including Yishun, Sembawang, Bishan and Tampines.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sandra Tsao said a resident of Block 415, Yishun Avenue 11, called the police that day and said he had seen someone in his neighbour's flat on the eighth floor.

It was Oh.

On finding no-one at home, he removed four panes from a window facing the corridor and forced the grilles apart with a crowbar to get in. He stole $2,080 worth of goods from the flat.

That same day, in his home in Yishun Ring Road, police found a Singapore international passport belonging to someone else.

On Feb 11, he had also robbed a taxi driver of his vehicle and driven it when he did not have a licence.

In his spate of crimes, the loot he took was worth more than $270,000, but only $12,640 was recovered.

Copyright 1998 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.




masthead
Straits Times, Singapore, 20 December 1998

Jail, cane for man who, for $35, smuggled illegal

By Tan Ooi Boon

A 40-YEAR-OLD man who was offered $35 to help smuggle an illegal immigrant to Singapore was jailed three years for the offence yesterday. Liew Nam Chong, a Malaysian, will also be given four strokes of the cane for trying to sneak into Singapore on Thursday with the immigrant stashed in a small compartment behind the back seat of his car.

He was caught at the Woodlands checkpoint at about 5.20 pm that day, after Customs officer Marai Malai noticed that the accused's Malaysian registered Audi "looked strange".

Although Liew was the only person in the car, the officer saw that his car was weighed down, as if there was something heavy in the boot.

Mr Marai did not find anything when he opened the boot, but when he pulled down the rear seat of the car, he saw a man curled up in the small space behind it.

Both the driver and his passenger were then arrested.

Investigations revealed that the illegal immigrant, Li Qi, a 28-year-old Chinese national, had wanted to enter Singapore to look for work, but was unable to obtain a visa.

He approached a "recruitment agent" for help and was told to meet Liew at Johor Baru's Holiday Plaza. Liew, who was supposed to receive RM80 ($35) for smuggling Li across the border, told him to hide in the car compartment. Yesterday, Li was jailed for one month. He will also receive four strokes of the cane for entering Singapore without a proper pass.

The penalty for smuggling illegal immigrants into Singapore is between two and five years' jail and the cane. That for entering Singapore without a valid pass is up to six months' jail and a caning.

Copyright 1998 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.




masthead
Straits Times, Singapore, 24 December 1998

Labourer gets 6 years, 12 strokes

Rape of landlady

A 49-YEAR-OLD odd-job labourer was sentenced to six years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane yesterday for raping his 46-year-old landlady in her bedroom.

A district court heard yesterday that Lau Ah Tee and his girlfriend had rented a room in the victim's three-room flat in Hougang in September last year. When his girlfriend moved out, he continued to stay there.

On June 21 this year, he returned to the flat past midnight after having drinks in Geylang, and watched a soccer match on the television in his room.

After 1 am, he showered and was walking back to his room with a towel around his waist when he noticed his landlady's bedroom door ajar.

Seeing her asleep, he entered the bedroom and tapped her legs to wake her up. He asked her to keep him company, but she told him she did not want to.

He then raped her. After sex, he fell asleep. When he woke up at about 6 am, he raped her again.

The court heard that the landlady was too afraid to resist him.

When Lau left the flat at about 10 am, she spoke to her son-in-law on the phone and told him what happened.

Her daughter then called the police the same day and Lau was arrested on June 30.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of rape yesterday. Two other charges, one of attempted rape and one of molest, were taken into consideration.

He could have been jailed for up to 20 years for each charge of rape.

Copyright 1998 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.




masthead
Straits Times, Singapore, 25 December 1998

Crime rate on the rise

Possible first increase in a decade

Nine-year record of declining crime statistics now broken

THE crime statistics for 1999 are not likely to be different from this year, which has the dubious distinction of bucking a nine-year declining trend.

In November, Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee said that from January to September this year, police recorded 36,766 seizable offences, which are offences that do not require the police to have a warrant to make an arrest.

The Minister of State (Law and Home Affairs) noted that this figure is 4 per cent more than that for the same period last year, and Singapore could well be facing its first increase in crime rate in a decade.

Former Criminal Investigation Department chief Chua Chin Kiat said, however, that this reversal should be seen in the context of the current economic downturn and the "sharp dip" in crime rates in the last nine years.

In a recent interview with The Straits Times, Mr Chua, 45, who became Prisons director in November, said he expected next year's crime rate to stabilise.

"What goes down must come up. How can you sustain a trend for nine to 10 years? It is time we get to some steady state and my guess is that next year will not be too different from this year.

"We will probably see some single figure percentage increase or decrease."

Half-yearly crime statistics released by the police in August showed that six out of nine index crimes -- offences that are used commonly for international comparison -- are on the upswing.

Murder and snatch theft reports notched the most prominent increases, followed by motor vehicle theft, rape, housebreaking, and robbery. Rioting, molest and cheating cases are on the decline.

Overall, the crime rate in the first six months of this year rose to 4.7 per cent above the rate for the same period last year. But more cases were solved, with police making 29 per cent more arrests.

If the trend continues, the overall year-end crime rate would be about 5 per cent higher than last year's. When contacted, a police spokesman said crime statistics for the later half of the year would be available only next January or February. However, Mr Chua said there was no cause for alarm as the crime situation was still in control.

Still, the public should be concerned and take precautionary measures.

Crime prevention is not just the business of the police. "Even if we station a policeman on every street, it's not going to prevent every crime."

Copyright 1998 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.




masthead
Straits Times, Singapore, 30 December 1998

Security officer gets jail for rape

While on duty at Marina Square, he raped a 34-year-old married restaurant worker minutes after befriending her at the complex

A SECURITY officer on duty at Marina Square raped a 34-year-old married woman minutes after befriending her at the shopping complex.

Azman Sahwa, 33, was sentenced to seven years' jail and eight strokes of the cane on Monday. The DNA profile of semen stains on her panties and some tissue paper were found to match his blood specimen.

A district court heard on Monday that the woman, a restaurant worker, was strolling alone at the shopping complex at about 2 pm on Aug 21 last year when Azman approached and befriended her.

He persuaded her to go with him to a nearby staircase to talk.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nathan Lau told the court that the woman was mildly intellectually disabled and Azman thought that he could take advantage of her.

While they sat at the staircase, he started kissing her on the lips and caressing her breasts, and put a hand into her panties.

She shouted at him but he refused to stop.

He went on to pull down her pants and underwear, and raped her.

He then ran away.

The court heard that she shouted for help during the attack, but no one came to her assistance.

The woman later told her husband what had happened, and made a police report the same afternoon.

When the police arrived, all the security officers were summoned and she identified Azman as her attacker.

Azman, who had been jailed before for theft, was sentenced to seven years' jail and eight strokes of the cane on the charge of rape.

He could have been jailed for up to 20 years while also liable to a fine or caning.

Copyright 1998 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.




Corpun file 3325

masthead
The New Paper, Singapore, 31 December 1998


mugshot

FIRST: Loke Tuck Fatt is the first Singaporean to be sentenced under a stricter, new law for repeat drug offenders.


While under custody, Loke refused to provide his urine sample for testing. He made the officers wait for more than an hour and then urinated in his pants instead.
- CNB spokesman

He refuses to give urine samples and... wets his pants

BY MELVIN SINGH

THE unmistakable smell of urine filled the office room at the police station.

The trickle coming down Loke Tuck Fatt's legs grew into a messy pool at his feet, staining the floor tiles.

Was the man so scared? Was he embarrassed afterwards?

Not likely.

The 39-year-old drug addict probably thought he was being clever.

He had refused to provide a urine sample to officers of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) at Central Police station, after his arrest on Dec 6.

Loke was trying to avoid punishment under the Long Term Imprisonment regime or LT1.

Instead, he became the first to be sentenced under the tougher new laws.

Under LT1, which took effect on July 20 this year, repeat drug offenders are hit the hardest.

Offenders with two or more previous convictions on charges of taking drugs can now be jailed between five and seven years and caned three to six strokes.

TWO PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS

Loke had two previous convictions for drug related offences.

Loke may have thought he could get away by refusing to give his urine sample.

But what he may not have known is that refusing to provide the sample also carries a heavy penalty.

Said a CNB spokesman: "While under custody, Loke refused to provide his urine sample for testing.

"He made the officers wait for more than an hour and then urinated in his pants instead."

The spokesman added: "Investigations revealed that he had consumed heroin. He deliberately refused to provide his urine sample."

He was sentenced on Christmas eve to a total of six years in jail and three strokes of the cane for failing to provide the urine sample.

Loke was also sentenced to four months jail for failing to return to the Lloyd Leas Work Release camp in Changi.

He had been an inmate under the Residential Day Release Scheme which allows addicts undergoing rehabilitation to leave their camp and go to work.

PENALTY

Loke was sentenced to a total of six years in jail and three strokes of the cane for failing to provide the urine sample.

For failing to give urine samples upon request, even a first-time offender can be jailed up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000.

The Electric New Paper. Copyright 1998
Singapore Press Holdings. All Rights Reserved.



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