Interior designer sentenced to 15 years and 24 strokes for robbing and tying up victims

Tan Choon Keap, 34, had tied up all his victims and even asked one to perform oral sex on him.
Tan Choon Keap, 34, had tied up all his victims and even asked one to perform oral sex on him. PHOTO: ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - An interior designer who robbed three Chinese nationals in two separate cases was sentenced to 15 years' jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane on Friday (Aug 21).

Tan Choon Keap, 34, had tied up all his victims and even asked one to perform oral sex on him. For the other two victims, he made them strip and took their photographs, threatening to upload them if they reported the matter to the police.

Tan, who pleaded guilty earlier to five of 13 charges, had called a 25-year-old prostitute on Oct 24, 2013 to book her services. He turned up at her flat in the early hours the next day wearing military fatigues and a helmet to hide his identity.

He robbed her of $1,950 at knifepoint.

After she performed oral sex on him, he tied her up in the toilet and relieved her of her two cellphones worth $1,798.

He reoffended more than a year later while out on bail.

On Nov 3 last year, he went to a 29-year-old stall assistant and part-time masseuse's flat for a massage, wearing a black cap and a surgical mask.

During the massage, he asked her for sex but she refused. She only agreed to remove her top if he did not touch her.

He later held a knife to her neck, pushed her to the bed and sat on top of her. He gagged her and robbed her of $4,000, lying that he needed money for his son's operation.

He also tied her wrists and ankles and blindfolded her while he ransacked her room.

He pulled down her panties and took photos of her with his cellphone. He then molested her.

The victim's co-tenant, a 21-year-old student, was also relieved of $4,000. Tan had also tied her up and blindfolded her. He found another $10,000 and took it.

He subsequently got the the older woman to cut the younger woman's T-shirt and pull her shorts down to her ankle area, exposing her private parts.

After telling the 29-year-old to remove her clothes, Tan made the two gesture a V sign with their hands and took their photographs with his mobile phone.

He was arrested two days later at the Resorts World Sentosa casino where he used part of the loot to gamble.Police recovered $9,378 from his wife's bank account.

District Judge Toh Yung Cheong noted the high level of harm and property loss caused to the victims, He said it was clear the offences were planned and methodically carried out.