SINGAPORE: A 69-year-old man was on Wednesday (Jul 12) charged with murder for the fatal stabbing of his son-in-law during lunchtime in the busy Shenton Way area.
Tan Nam Seng allegedly stabbed 38-year-old Spencer Tuppani at around 1.20pm on Monday.
The attack happened at a coffee shop at 121 Telok Ayer Street. Mr Tuppani collapsed about 70m away at 27 Boon Tat Street, where a restaurant named A Poke Theory is located. He was taken to Singapore General Hospital where he died from his wounds.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, A Poke Theory said some of its employees tried to help the victim after he collapsed, but were pushed away by the attacker who was still holding onto his knife.
Ms Tan Cheng Cheng, wife of the deceased and daughter of the accused, on Wednesday issued a statement through the family's lawyers asking for privacy.
"This is a double tragedy for the family. I hope the media will stop the narrative and let the police conduct its investigations. We cannot say anything to you now. Please respect our privacy and do not stay outside our home.
"Our family has lost a loved one and my beloved father is facing a serious charge. You cannot imagine our immense grief but please try to understand and let us have some peace."
Lawyers said the family asked for access to the accused due to his "chronic medical conditions", but the request was turned down by the court.
Tan will be remanded until his next appearance in court on Jul 14.
If convicted, Tan faces the death penalty.
VICTIM, ACCUSED WERE SHAREHOLDERS OF SHIPPING FIRM
Mr Tuppani was the managing partner and the largest shareholder of local shipping firm TNS Ocean Lines, according to a report last year in business weekly The Edge Singapore.
The company has three other shareholders, including Tan, his father-in-law.
A profile of Mr Tuppani in the August Man magazine said he turned around TNS Ocean Lines from the brink of bankruptcy during the global financial crisis 10 years ago.
In the September 2014 interview, Mr Tuppani said he “sold practically everything he owned” to reinvest into the company.
“I even sold my watches for whatever I could get, just so that I could put it back into the company,” he was quoted as saying.
Mr Tuppani managed to steer the company back to profitability in 18 months, according to the article.
The company had a turnover of S$2 million in 2003 when he joined, but by 2014, its turnover had exceeded S$100 million.
Mr Tuppani, who according to his LinkedIn profile graduated from Long Island University, was also nominated as a finalist for the Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year award by the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and DBS in 2014.
TNS Ocean Lines was acquired by logistics firm GKE for S$9 million last year.