Guilty As Charged: Shocking crimes that have shaken Singapore since 1965

Guilty As Charged: 25 Crimes That Have Shaken Singapore Since 1965, was first published in The Straits Times Star E-books app in July 2015. The publication was a collaboration between The Straits Times and the Singapore Police Force.
Guilty As Charged: 25 Crimes That Have Shaken Singapore Since 1965, was first published in The Straits Times Star E-books app in July 2015. The publication was a collaboration between The Straits Times and the Singapore Police Force.

The following stories were first published in The Straits Times Star E-books app in July 2015 as an e-book titled Guilty As Charged: 25 Crimes That Have Shaken Singapore Since 1965.

The following stories were first published in The Straits Times Star E-books app in July 2015 as an e-book titled Guilty As Charged: 25 Crimes That Have Shaken Singapore Since 1965. The publication was a collaboration between The Straits Times and the Singapore Police Force.

We are now releasing some stories from the book here at the ST website over five days - from Saturday, May 14, to Wednesday, May 18. If you would like to get reminders and links to the new stories each day, please sign up for The Straits Times' daily newsletter, or follow ST's Facebook page or ST's Twitter account. You can also read all the stories immediately by downloading the Guilty As Charged e-book from the ST Star E-books app for iPad (not iPhone) or Android devices. Please note that the book is 102MB and best downloaded via a Wi-Fi network.

Foreword by Hoong Wee Teck, Commissioner of Police, Singapore Police Force

Singapore has made remarkable progress over the last 50 years to become the city state that is famous for its economic prosperity, social harmony, as well as safety and security.

Our crime rate is one of the lowest in the world today. However, the streets of Singapore in the early years of independence were not quite like what they are today. We were besieged by secret society activities and syndicated crimes involving the rampant use of firearms which gripped the nation in fear.

The safe Singapore we all enjoy living in today is the fruits of our pioneers’ labour. Not only did pioneer Singapore Police Force (SPF) officers rise to the occasion time and again to bring criminals to justice, they were also motivated by the collective will of fellow Singaporeans to build a safer Singapore.

This e-book records 25 of the more prominent cases since 1965 and bears testament to the dedication and commitment of SPF officers — past and present — to uphold justice.

As a police officer, I experienced first-hand the amount of hard work and long hours our officers put in to uphold the law and bring criminals to justice.

Indeed, it is my privilege and pleasure to work with these elite men and women to keep Singaporeans safe and secure.

Our SPF officers will continue to remain resolute in our mission to make Singapore the safest place in the world.

Introduction by Melvin Yong, director, Public Affairs Department, Singapore Police Force (Mr Yong is now with NTUC and a Tanjong Pagar GRC MP)

Besides serving as a veritable record of our success in crime solving, this collection of stories is a reflection of how far we have come to build a safe and secure Singapore as one people.

All the cases featured in this book made headlines and grabbed the attention of our people. Some of these cases also proved to be the catalysts for enhancements to our legislative framework.

The commitment and dedication of our officers to bring criminals to justice are the foundations on which the Singapore Police Force has built an enduring relationship of trust with our community. Many cases were solved with assistance from people from all walks of life. The strong community support is a key motivation and inspiration for our officers, especially when the going gets tough.

Through this book, we hope readers will remember the collective efforts of our pioneer generation to mould Singapore into the safe country we enjoy today. More importantly, it serves to remind us that while Singapore remains a safe city, we have to be vigilant always to prevent and deter crime.

WARNING: Some contents in these stories may be disturbing for some individuals.


The Sunny Ang trial (1965)


KILLER: Sunny Ang Soo Suan killed his 22-year-old girlfriend after taking out a host of insurance policies on her life. PHOTO: ST FILE

Sunny Ang Soo Suan thought he had committed the perfect murder when his girlfriend disappeared at sea. He stood to gain from the insurance policies he began buying for Ms Jenny Cheok Cheng Kid shortly after they met.

READ MORE HERE


 

The case of Mimi Wong (1970)


Mimi Wong Weng Siu was the first woman to be sent to the gallows after Singapore’s independence. PHOTO: ST FILE

The dance hostess was the first woman to get the death penalty in Singapore for murdering her Japanese lover’s wife. Her husband also went to the gallows for the murder.

READ MORE HERE


Gold bar murders (1971)


Criminal Investigation Department officers inspecting the recovered gold bars. PHOTO: ST FILE

Two brothers and five other youths killed an import-export towkay and two of his employees for 120 gold bars, worth more than $500,000 at the time.

READ MORE HERE


The case of Lim Ban Lim (1972)


Lim Ban Lim’s body covered with a tarpaulin after police were finally able to bring him down. WANBAO FILE PHOTO

The notorious gunman who engaged in Hollywood-style shootings with police met his end in a showdown at Margaret Drive. He had gained so much notoriety that after he was shot to death by police, 33 inmates escaped from a reformative training centre just to attend his funeral. 

READ MORE HERE


The Tontine killing (1974)


Police officers removing an earthernware jar containing a woman’s torso. It belonged to Madam Quek Lay Eng. PHOTO: ST FILE

Sim Joo Keow fought with her sister-in-law over money, strangled her, dismembered her body, then hid the pieces in different places.

READ MORE HERE


Swimming trunk gang (1975)


ROBBERS: Khalil (left) and Suhaymi of the swimming trunk gang arriving for court before being sentenced to 64 years in jail and 144 strokes of the cane in total. PHOTO: ST FILE

Greed proved the downfall of these serial robbers, who struck in nothing more than underwear. They were believed to have been responsible for some 500 offences including housebreakings, thefts and armed robberies. Their total haul amounted to nearly $500,000 - an all-time record in local criminal history then.

READ MORE HERE  


Mount Vernon murders (1978)


THE KILLERS: (from left) Yeo Ching Boon, Ong Hwee Kuan and Ong Chin Hock. PHOTO: ST FILE

The three friends, all aged 21, wanted a gun so they could become robbers. They planned to steal a gun from the sentry at a police reserve unit in Mount Vernon.

READ MORE HERE 


Ritual murders (1981)


Adrian Lim's House of Horror: Two children were killed here, a seventh-story flat in Block 12, Toa Payoh Lorong 7. The unit was vacant for five years after the murders until a Catholic family moved in. PHOTO: ST FILE

Adrian Lim, a charlatan medium seen by many as the very embodiment of evil, and his two “holy” wives, kidnapped, tortured and killed a pair of children. Lim, who was being investigated on a rape charge, wanted to exact revenge on the police by murdering children.

READ MORE HERE 


Andrew Road murders (1983)


Members of the Police Tactical Team outside retired businessman Robert Tay’s bungalow at Andrew Road on July 23, 1983. Mr Tay, his wife and their Filipino maid were found murdered. PHOTO: ST FILE

Sek Kim Wah killed a retired businessman, his wife and their maid during a robbery, and would have killed two more if not for his reluctant accomplice.

READ MORE HERE 


Nick Leeson, Rogue Trader (1995)


Leeson being escorted by Commercial Affairs Department officers as he clears immigration at Changi Airport after being extradited from Frankfurt. PHOTO: ST FILE

While based in Singapore, he brought down Britain’s oldest merchant bank Barings and created a worldwide financial scandal. He falsified accounts and trading records, racking up $2.2 billion in losses.

READ MORE HERE 


Tourist from Hell (1996)


The prison van carrying murderer John Martin Scripps leaving the High Court after the trial. PHOTO: ST FILE

John Martin Scripps befriended unknowing tourists, then butchered them and drained their bank accounts. He killed in Singapore and Thailand, and was the first Westerner to be hanged for murder in the Republic.

READ MORE HERE


Rolex murder (1998)


A police officer holding the watch for which Jonaris killed Madam Poh. PHOTO: ST FILE

Jonaris Badlishah wanted to give his girlfriend a Rolex. He did not have the money, so he killed to get the $7,500, gold and diamond-studded watch. He struck make-up artist Sally Poh Bee Eng more than 10 times on the head with a hammer.

READ MORE HERE 


The case of Anthony Ler (2001)


Anthony Ler faking sorrow at his wife’s wake. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

He showed no remorse after luring a teenager into killing his wife, who had wanted a divorce. He offered the killer $100,000 and coached him on how to stab Madam Leong in the neck.

READ MORE HERE 


Orchard Towers murders (2002)


British businessman Michael McCrea sitting in a police van leaving the Subordinate Courts. He killed his driver and a Chinese national, and was sentenced to a total of 24 years in jail. PHOTO: ZAOBAO FILE

Michael McCrea tried to escape justice by fleeing Singapore but finally paid the price for killing a woman and his driver – a man he called his brother.

READ MORE HERE


High-rolling hustler (2004)


Asia Pacific Breweries executive Chia Teck Leng (left) cheated four banks of more than $117 million. His girlfriend Li Jin faced charges of using a forged passport to enter and leave Singapore. POLICE FILE PHOTOS

Chia Teck Leng secretly led a double life as a high-rolling hustler, complete with flashy cars, luxury apartments and a girlfriend half his age. The “unremarkable” family man cheated banks of millions.

READ MORE HERE 


Huang Na's murder (2004)


Huang Na's parents had to be supported at the Mandai Crematorium as they watched their daughter's coffin roll into the furnace. The Primary 2 student was killed in a storeroom at the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre. PHOTO: ST FILE

When the eight-year-old went missing, Singaporeans from all walks of life helped in the search. But she was already dead — killed by Took Leng How, a man she treated as an uncle.

READ MORE HERE


Kallang body parts murder (2005)


The police found the murdered woman’s head at an incineration plant in Tuas. PHOTO: ST FILE

He stole his young lover’s ATM card and withdrew her money. Then fearing that she would identify him, factory supervisor Leong Siew Chor killed and dismembered the body into seven parts.

READ MORE HERE 


Body parts in Orchard Road (2005)


Body parts were found in a bag near the Orchard MRT station on Sept 9, 2005. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

The two maids were the best of friends, until a dispute over money led to Guen Garlejo Aguilar killing Mrs Jane Parangan La Puebla, then gruesomely disposing of the body in separate bags.

READ MORE HERE 


The one-eyed Dragon (2006)


The killer Tan Chor Jin (in red) being brought back to the murder scene in Serangoon Avenue 4. There, he was shouted at by the victim’s wife and mother. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Gangster Tan Chor Jin was so-called because he was blind in one eye. He repeatedly shot a nightclub owner, killing him, before conducting his own defence in court and failing miserably.

READ MORE HERE


The Sunshine Empire (2006)


James Phang Wah, the founder and head of Sunshine Empire, was sentenced to nine years’ jail and a $60,000 fine for criminal breach of trust. PHOTO: ST FILE

Self-styled entrepreneur James Phang Wah promised huge returns through The Sunshine Empire's “revolutionary” investment plan, but it was nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.

READ MORE HERE 


Killing of Nonoi (2006)


Madam Mastura Kamsir refusing to leave her daughter Nonoi’s side after she was buried. PHOTO: ST FILE

When two-year-old Nurasyura Mohamed Fauzi went missing, her stepdad Mohammed Ali Johari joined the search. But it was he who had murdered her, and hidden the body.

READ MORE HERE


Yishun triple murder (2008)


Murder suspect Wang Zhijian being escorted to the crime scene at Block 349, Yishun Avenue 11 by police officers. He killed three women, including his lover and her daughter. PHOTO: ST FILE

A tumultuous love affair ends with Chinese national Wang Zhijian going on a murderous rampage one night, killing his lover, her daughter and a flatmate after a quarrel over money for crab.

READ MORE HERE


Taxi murder (2009)


Police at a forested area near Sembawang Beach, where the body of taxi driver Yuen Swee Hong, 58, was found. PHOTO: SHIN MIN FILE

An attempted robbery ends in the death of a cab driver. The killer, Wang Wenfeng, then demands ransom from the dead man’s wife.

READ MORE HERE


Yap Weng Wah, sex predator (2015)


Yap Weng Wah committed the offences over a period of three years, until June 2012 when the sister of an 11-year-old checked his cellphone. She found SMS exchanges between Yap and her brother. They went to the police. PHOTO: ST FILE

Engineer Yap Weng Wah got 30 years in jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane for abusing at least 31 boys. The phrase “did penetrate” was repeated 74 times in the 23-page charge sheet. The other two charges involved him causing a 15-year-old boy “to penetrate” Yap’s mouth, and directing a 12-year-old to send a video of the child doing a sexual act.

READ MORE HERE


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