Man charged with $620k armed robbery

A Malaysian man was yesterday charged over an armed gang robbery in which he allegedly stole more than $620,000 from a moneychanger before fleeing across the Causeway.

Selvam Karupaya, 31, was charged with robbing Mr Ali Yousouf Saiboo, 37, of two bags containing $624,036 in local and foreign currencies at the open-air carpark of Block 110, Aljunied Crescent, just before 1am on Nov 5, 2014.

Selvam, whose occupation was not given, was arrested by Malaysian police and handed over to Singapore police on Thursday.

District Judge Christopher Goh granted the police prosecutor's request for Selvam to be remanded for a week. The judge told Selvam that bail would be offered to him on April 22, if his custody was no longer required.

Mr Saiboo worked for his father-in-law's money-changing business at The Arcade. On the day of the robbery, he decided to keep the currencies at his father-in-law's home in Aljunied Crescent. But he was ambushed in his car by five men clad in balaclavas and face masks, with plasters stuck on their fingertips.

Mr Saiboo, who was with his son, two, locked the car doors. One of the robbers then shattered the window on his side with a crowbar, while another dragged him out and assaulted him. A robber also threatened to kill his son.

Three men have been sentenced for their respective roles in the armed robbery. Malaysian Ravi Sandhira Sagaran, 28, was jailed for seven years with 12 strokes of the cane in January.

In February, Annadurai Raman, 43, a Singapore permanent resident, was given the same sentence, while Tachana Moorthy Peromal, 29, a Malaysian, got nine years with 12 strokes of the cane.

Tachana was one of the masterminds in the robbery, which is believed to involve eight men. Four remaining accomplices, all Malaysians, are still at large - including the robbery's alleged grand mastermind, Baskaran Balakrishnan.

If convicted, Selvam faces between five and 20 years' jail, with at least 12 strokes of the cane.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2016, with the headline 'Man charged with $620k armed robbery'. Print Edition | Subscribe