Rag-and-bone man jailed for dishonestly receiving stolen bicycles

Tan Song Hui was given 12 months' jail for dishonestly receiving stolen bicycles.
Tan Song Hui was given 12 months' jail for dishonestly receiving stolen bicycles.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A karang guni (rag-and-bone) man, whose acquittal for dishonestly receiving a stolen bicycle was recently overturned by the High Court, was given 12 months' jail on Wednesday (Sept 21) for similar offences.

The prosecution had appealed against the acquittal of Tan Song Hui, 68, who had claimed trial to a single charge. The High Court allowed the appeal last month and jailed him for four months.

Tan was brought back to court on Wednesday for the outstanding stood-down charges to be dealt with.

He pleaded guilty to seven charges of receiving stolen bicycles with his friend, Cheng Nyuk Chon, 55, in 2013, with another 20 taken into consideration.

District Judge Salina Ishak sentenced him to a total of 12 months' jail which will take effect after he finishes his current jail term. Cheng had pleaded guilty in August last year and has since completed his 12-month jail sentence.

A district court heard that Tan and Cheng came up with a plan to buy stolen bicycles from people suspected of being drug addicts at Sungei Road as they were in need of money. They knew that the bicycles they bought from these people had been stolen.

Tan would buy the stolen bicycles and Cheng would sell them.

Tan determined the price which the bicycles would be sold at and communicated this to Cheng. After Cheng sold them, he would split the proceeds with Tan.

Over a few months, the pair bought and sold more than a hundred bicycles.

In six of the seven charges proceeded, one Mohammad Nor Haslan Mustaff Kumar, then 28, had stolen the bicycles and sold them to Tan who was running his business with Cheng near Sungei Road. Haslan has been dealt with.

Some of the bicycles were worth between $55 and $900 while the value of others were unknown.

Tan's lawyer Gurdip Singh said his client, who has three grown-up children and several grandchildren, had been a rag-and-bone man for the last 40 years. Tan started to buy second-hand bicycles almost 30 years ago, he said.

He said Tan met Cheng around the middle of 2013 and decided to go back to the same trade as Cheng was jobless.

Tan had previous similar convictions in 1993 and 2012 and driving-related convictions.

He could have been jailed for up to five years and fined on each charge.