Man jailed for S$45,000 armed robbery after 22 years on the run

Man jailed for S$45,000 armed robbery after 22 years on the run

gavel file 2
A courtroom gavel. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: More than 20 years after being part of an armed robbery, a 59-year-old man was on Wednesday (Jun 13) sentenced to four years in jail. 

Foo Siang Thian, a Singaporean, had committed the offence on Jul 5, 1996 with two accomplices, Lee Ai Eng and How Meng Yan, who were dealt with the same year. 

Foo, however, escaped to Malaysia after the robbery. He was repatriated to Singapore in 1998, but once again escaped and stayed in Kuala Lumpur until Mar 2 this year, according to court documents. 

According to court documents, Foo had suggested that they rob Lee’s former employer, then one of four partners of an engineering company, because Lee was having financial problems. Foo and Lee involved How in the plan. 

Lee had previously told Foo that the victim would withdraw money for his employees' salaries from an OCBC bank branch on Yung Kuang Road in Taman Jurong.

Foo and Lee stole a motorcycle the night before the crime from the void deck of Block 3, Bedok South Ave 1 and parked it at a car park in Jurong.

The next morning, Foo and How travelled on the motorbike to the bank outlet, armed with knives. Lee drove his own car and stayed in it at a car park nearby, as his former employer would recognise him.

At about 11am on Jul 5, the victim left the bank after spending 30 minutes withdrawing S$44,876.23, and walked towards his car, which was parked about 20m away. This was when Foo and How approached the victim, while holding the knives wrapped in newspapers.

Out of fear, the victim threw the envelope with the money onto the ground. Some money fell out, which How and Foo picked up. They made away with all the cash on the stolen motorcycle and went to meet Lee at the car park. 

They got away in the car, and later met up at Foo’s home in Chai Chee to split the spoils. Foo received more than S$10,000, which he used to pay off debts and for his daily expenses.

Besides the four-year jail term, Foo was also disqualified from driving for three years. The Prosecution proceeded on two charges, and one other charge was taken into consideration.

In October 1996, Lee was sentenced to three years, two months in jail, six strokes of the cane and disqualified from driving for three years. Two months later, How was sentenced to three years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane. 

For armed robbery, Foo could have been jailed between two and 10 years, and given at least 12 strokes of the cane. 

For stealing the motorcycle, he could have been jailed for between one and seven years, and fined, and disqualified from driving for at least three years. He cannot be caned as he is above the age of 50.

Source: CNA/ja(hm)