Suspects arrested in connection with case of male body without legs found stuffed in bag

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the scene where the body of a male without legs was found stuffed inside a blood-soaked suitcase in Syed Alwi Road on June 11, 2014. The police have arrested a man in connection with t
Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the scene where the body of a male without legs was found stuffed inside a blood-soaked suitcase in Syed Alwi Road on June 11, 2014. The police have arrested a man in connection with the legless body that was found on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested two Pakistani men, aged 25 and 43, in connection with the legless body that was found on Wednesday, stuffed inside a blood-soaked suitcase along Syed Alwi Road.

Both suspects were arrested on Thursday at about 3pm near Rowell Road. The deceased is also believed to be a male Pakistan National who was 59 years old.

The Straits Times understands that the suspects were nabbed in a two-storey shophouse there.

The case has been classified as murder, and police said the suspects are to appear in court on Saturday. Investigations are still ongoing.

Deputy Commissioner of Police for Investigations & Intelligence Hoong Wee Teck said police had devoted extensive resources to solving the serious crime expeditiously.

Police operations had so far involved more than 100 officers from the Criminal Investigation Department, the Police Intelligence Department, Central Police Division and Tanglin Police Division.

Officers in plainclothes had visited the area on two occasions earlier in the day: once at about 7am and another four hours later.

They were seen combing the neighbourhood before canvassing people living and working in the area, over a photo with a man in his 40s and a teenager, both believed to be of South Asian descent.

Cleaner Woo Shin Kwong, 57, said that he saw an elderly man, estimated to be about 70 years old, trying to lift a brown suitcase into a supermarket trolley on Wednesday. He was assisted by two South Asian men who appeared to be in their 20s.

Other eyewitnesses said the old man had earlier enlisted the help of the two South Asians to lift the load. "I saw the old man struggling to lift the luggage, so I approached to help him. I thought he had cut himself because there was blood on his hands," said Mr Woo, who was walking to Lavender MRT station on his way home after work.

"But when I touched the bag, I saw that it was dripping blood."

Shocked, he immediately moved away. There were also bloody tracks on the ground, he added. "I asked the old man in Hokkien what was in the bag, and he said it was a body. So I asked him why he was trying to move it, but he didn't answer," Mr Woo said in Mandarin, who then dialled 999.

Mr Woo said that the old man started to walk away calmly, but complied when he told him to stay at the scene.

Police said they had received a call requesting assistance at 6.04pm on Wednesday.

"I saw a woman officer bring the old man into the police car, while other officers interviewed the two younger men by the side of the road," he said.

Mr Woo, who has worked in the area for about seven months, said this was the first time he had seen the old man, who was wearing a floral short-sleeved shirt and shorts.

Officers could be seen combing the ground as late as 9.30pm, while a large crowd gathered behind police cordons.

Bystanders could be seen viewing YouTube videos, taken when police first arrived at the scene.

One such video showed two police officers wearing gloves standing by the suitcase, with an officer examining its contents, while the other urged members of the public to stand back. A supermarket trolley was lying on its side a metre or so away.

Police are investigating the case as an unnatural death.

yanliang@sph.com.sg