Indian origin man convicted of gang robbery in Singapore

Singapore: Two men, including one of Indian origin, were convicted on Friday for taking part in a gang robbery at a shophouse in Singapore’s Little India precinct in 2017, during which they stole SGD 300,000, a media report said.

Indian-origin Thava Kumaran Ramamutty, 37, and Malay origin Muhammad Ridzuan Bin Mohammad Yusof, 32, were both found guilty after contesting two charges each of housebreaking by night and robbery.

The pair will return to court on January 25 for mitigation and sentencing.

On December 11, 2017, Thava, Ridzuan and three accomplices targeted four Bangladeshi nationals who were conducting an illegal remittance scheme.

At about 3 am, the robbers broke into the shophouse with a key obtained from an informant.

They posed as police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and confronted the victims at the shophouse along Rowell Road in the precinct of shops, shophouses, motels and eateries popular among South Asians.

They restrained the four victims and stole the sum of cash, which had been collected from fellow Bangladeshi nationals working in Singapore wanting to remit money to their families back home.

The five of them then fled in a rented car with fake license plates.

On December 29, Thava entered Malaysia with a 30-day social visit pass. He was arrested in April 2018 after overstaying his visa in Johor Bahru, a neighbouring Malaysian city to Singapore.

He was detained by the Royal Malaysian Police with another accomplice, Shanker Maghalingam, who had illegally entered Malaysia via a motorised boat from Changi Creek in Singapore. The pair were then extradited to Singapore.

Three of the five robbers, Shanker, Juraimi Jupri and Nor Mohamad Azril Sajali, have pleaded guilty to their offences.

Another three accomplices have also pleaded guilty to renting the getaway car and affixing the fake license plate to it. They are Valerie Emmanuelle Ramanee, Udaya Kumar Manoker and Mohamed Safit Hasan Mohamed Ayub.

Their cases have all been dealt with and Thava’s and Ridzuan’s cases were the last two pending before the courts.

Two of the men who ran the illegal remittance business, Alamgir Md and Sikder Sujan, have also pleaded guilty to providing the unlicensed service.

For housebreaking by night, an offender may be jailed up to three years and fined. For gang robbery of five or more people, each offender could be jailed between five and 20 years and caned at least 12 strokes.

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