Body in suitcase trial

Killer fails in bid to keep stolen money

Rasheed Muhammad being escorted by police on June 19, 2014. Rasheed, who has been sentenced to hang for murder, yesterday denied taking money from the victim and said the $5,745 found on him was his own money.
Rasheed Muhammad being escorted by police on June 19, 2014. Rasheed, who has been sentenced to hang for murder, yesterday denied taking money from the victim and said the $5,745 found on him was his own money.PHOTO: ST FILE

A Pakistani man, one of two who have been sentenced to hang for murdering a compatriot in a robbery, yesterday fought to keep the $5,745 that was found on him, insisting that the whole sum belonged to him.

But Rasheed Muhammad, 46, only managed to keep $845, as the High Court ordered $4,900 - the amount taken from the victim - to be forfeited.

Rasheed and his accomplice, Ramzan Rizwan, 28, were found guilty last month of murdering 59-year-old Muhammad Noor to recover money they had lost to him in a game of cards. All three had come to Singapore to sell tissue paper.

After the victim was smothered in his room at their Rowell Road lodging house on June 11, 2014, the pair sawed off his legs and packed his remains into two suitcases.

The killing came to light when an 81-year-old man made a grisly find in Syed Alwi Road - a grey suitcase containing the victim's legless body. Rasheed later led police to a black suitcase containing the victim's legs at the Jalan Kubor Muslim cemetery.

Each blamed the other for killing the victim. But the High Court concluded that the pair had acted as team in carrying out their common intention to kill the victim and rob him of his money.

After the pair were sentenced, the prosecution applied for their respective share of the loot to be forfeited. When they were arrested, Ramzan was found with $3,318, while Rasheed had $5,745 on him.

 

  • $5,745

    What Rasheed Muhammad wanted to keep. This was the amount found on him when he was arrested.

    $845

    What the court ruled was rightfully his. The rest of the money belonged to his victim.

Ramzan told police that Rasheed had taken $6,000 from the victim and then gave him $1,100.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ong Luan Tze argued that Rasheed's share of the loot worked out to $4,900 and sought to forfeit the sum.

But Rasheed objected to this.

A hearing, known as a disposal inquiry, was held to determine what happens to the money.

Yesterday, his assigned lawyer Wong Siew Hong said Rasheed denied taking money from the victim and said that the entire sum of $5,745 was his own money.

Mr Wong said his client asserts that Ramzan "took everything" from the victim, not only $1,100.

Ramzan did not object to $1,100 being forfeited, leaving him with $2,218.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2017, with the headline 'Killer fails in bid to keep stolen money'. Print Edition | Subscribe