Cigarette smuggler injured 2 ICA officers while trying to escape

Khairun Nizar Isnin pleaded guilty to seven of 14 charges. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
Khairun Nizar Isnin pleaded guilty to seven of 14 charges. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

Suspected of smuggling cigarettes, a cleaner fled in his van as nine officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) tried to nab him.

But before he escaped, Khairun Nizar Isnin, 33, broke the arm of one and ran his van over the foot of another. That was not all.

After he was tracked down and arrested, he was found to have used false number plates on his van, driven without a licence and insurance cover and worked for a smuggling syndicate.

He had also stashed away in his Bukit Batok home 43.72kg of contraband cigarettes, with unpaid duty totalling $15,389.

These offences came to light after he fled from the ICA enforcement officers on Oct 29 last year.

Yesterday, Khairun pleaded guilty to seven of 14 charges in a district court and was sentenced to five years and three months in jail, three strokes of the cane and a $2,000 fine. He was also banned from driving for three years.

Recounting his crimes in court, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Soo Tet said Khairun parked at the multi-storey carpark at Block 372A, Jurong East Street 32, when the ICA officers cornered him.

Inspector Teo Hwee Peng, 40, and Assistant Superintendent Tan Kar Keong, 35, alighted with two others and identified themselves.

Khairun started to move his van to try and escape. When he ignored the officers' order to stop, three of them shattered the van's windows and mirror with their nightsticks.

As Insp Teo reached in to remove the ignition key, Khairun took a 60cm long metal rod and swung it at him. Insp Teo suffered a broken right forearm. As ASP Tan tried to open the door on the passenger side, Khairun ran over his right foot and he fell. ASP Tan injured his foot and left knee.

Khairun fled but was nabbed the following day at his home in Bukit Batok West Avenue 6.

Investigations showed that he had rented the van with his father about three weeks before his arrest. He also got his father to register a company called Master Supply Trading, which rented a warehouse in Jurong to store the contraband cigarettes.

District Judge Lee Poh Choo, in passing sentence, said Khairun knew full well what he was doing when he " spread contraband cigarettes in Singapore and (helped the syndicates) flood the market".