Suspect seen in same car as murder victim

An investigation officer looking into a silver Toyota Camry which was found abandoned at Eunos Avenue 7 on July 11, 2013.
An investigation officer looking into a silver Toyota Camry which was found abandoned at Eunos Avenue 7 on July 11, 2013.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

Sorry, sorry, sorry - this was how Mr Tan Boon Sin apologised to a property consultant for cutting into a queue of cars leaving a petrol station just a few hours before he was allegedly murdered.

His alleged killer was beside him in the passenger seat, the consultant testified yesterday.

Mr Hor Boon Long, 50, told the court that he and his wife had been at the BreadTalk building in Tai Seng Street to deliver documents.

After leaving a little after 2pm, they decided to refuel their black Audi A4 at a Shell petrol station near the Certis Cisco Centre in Payar Lebar. As they were leaving, a silver Toyota Camry cut ahead of them.

Mr Hor said he noticed that the Camry had come into the petrol station from another road, but did not stop to refuel.

He told the court that he left his car and approached the Camry to find out what was wrong.

Mr Hor described the driver as an elderly Chinese man whom he later identified as Mr Tan, while the passenger was a "plump middle-aged Malay man" he would later recognise as Iskandar Rahmat.

He knocked on the Camry's door and bent down to speak to Mr Tan, asking him in English, "Uncle, what happened?"

Mr Tan then apologised to him, saying "sorry" three times.

It was at this time that Mr Hor noticed Iskandar, who was "staring at me out of the corner of his eye".

Deciding to let the matter rest, Mr Hor said he returned to his car and let the Camry go ahead of him.

Later, when Mr Hor saw their photographs in newspaper reports following the murder, he thought that Mr Tan and Iskandar looked familiar.

After he was contacted by the police to assist in investigations, he recognised the victim and the alleged killer as the people he had seen in the Camry.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Prem Raj Prabakaran told the court that the police were able to track Mr Hor down from the closed-circuit television camera footage from the petrol station.

A separate piece of footage from the Certis Cisco Centre showed Mr Tan in the building less than an hour before the encounter with Mr Hor.

In the video, Mr Tan, who was wearing a dark blue shirt, was seen limping along a corridor.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2015, with the headline 'Suspect seen in same car as murder victim'. Print Edition | Subscribe