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Kovan murders: Shock, disbelief at cop's arrest

Suspect nabbed in JB is a 14-year veteran officer and part of Bedok Police Division

Published on Jul 14, 2013 7:35 AM
Iskandar Rahmat (second from right) arrives at the Police Cantonment Complex yesterday after being brought back to Singapore from Johor, where he was arrested on Friday night. He met murder victim Tan Boon Sin at least once, when the workshop owner reported a theft from a safety deposit box last year. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

A 54-hour manhunt following last week's brutal double murder at Kovan ended yesterday with a policeman in custody, sparking disbelief that a law enforcement officer was the prime suspect.

Senior Staff Sergeant Iskandar Rahmat, 34, was nabbed in Johor Baru on Friday night for the murders of motor workshop owner Tan Boon Sin, 67, and his son, Mr Tan Chee Heong, 42.

A 14-year veteran of the force and a member of the Bedok Police Division, he was facing financial difficulties and disciplinary proceedings. Checks showed that the married man was declared bankrupt last Thursday, a day after the murders.

His relationship to the victims is not yet clear, but he met the older Mr Tan at least once, when the latter reported a theft from a safe deposit box last year.

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Background story

Zero tolerance for cops who break the law

"The actions that the suspect has been accused of have tarnished the reputation of the Police. His actions, if proven, have abused the trust placed in him, and betrayed his colleagues in the Police Force who serve faithfully and dutifully.

"No one is above the law. Anyone who breaks the law, in particular officers placed in positions of trust or authority, will have to face the full weight of the law. We have zero tolerance for officers who break the law.

I am confident that the investigations will be thorough and that justice will be served.

"I have asked the Commissioner of Police to tell every officer to continue to perform his duty faithfully and diligently so as to maintain the trust that the public has in the Police Force and our officers.

"The Criminal Investigation Department has worked hard to crack this case, resulting in the speedy arrest of the suspect. I also thank the Royal Malaysian Police for their assistance rendered in helping us arrest the suspect. This is an excellent example of the close and deeply valued partnership the law enforcement agencies of both countries have built over many decades."

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister TEO CHEE HEAN, in a statement yesterday