Jail, caning for instigating man to commit robbery

A Bangladeshi construction worker instigated a Singaporean to rob a compatriot, saying the victim would be collecting money and carrying more than $50,000.

Sree Krishna Mondal Omar Chan Modal, 44, is the eighth and last man to be dealt with over the $75,000 heist along Serangoon Road nearly two years ago.

He was sentenced to the minimum three years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane yesterday.

He abetted Sathasivam Balakrishnan, 28, in November 2013 to rob construction worker Md Rashel Md Sorpan, 25, with at least two others.

The victim was robbed of his laptop bag containing cash of $75,000 and other items by Sathasivam; Rubenkumar Lakshmanan, 22; his 25-year-old brother Sathya Kumar; Rajkamal Selvanathan, 26; Dinesh Kumar, 25; Mano Ranjan Rajendran, 22; and Vishnunad Bhaguan, 24, at about 9.30pm on Nov 17 that year. The seven have each been sentenced to between three years and 41/2 years' jail plus caning.

A district court heard that Sree Krishna had asked Sathasivam three days earlier if he would be interested to commit robbery. He said the victim would be collecting money in the Tekka area and carrying more than $50,000.

Sree Krishna also told Sathasivam to bring at least two other persons along and to meet him at the open field beside Anguillia Mosque in Serangoon Road on Nov 17.

Sathasivam took Mano and Vishnunad to meet Sree Krishna at the latter's house that evening.

The four then went to the open field along Serangoon Road where Sree Krishna pointed out Mr Md Rashel, who was with his uncle and cousin and surrounded by many other Bangladeshi workers. Sree Krishna told them he would be nearby and not take part in the robbery.

Meanwhile, Rubenkumar and three others arrived at the open field where they discussed looking for a potential victim to rob.

Rubenkumar saw the trio who informed them of their plan to rob Mr Md Rashel. Rubenkumar's group decided to join in the robbery and share the money equally.

At about 9.30pm the robbers saw Mr Md Rashel, his uncle and cousin walking towards the traffic junction. Sathya came from behind and punched the victim, who fell.

All the accomplices then tried to kick and punch Mr Md Rashel and his witnesses. The victim fled with the bag, chased by the robbers.

When Mr Md Rashel fell on the pavement on the opposite side of the road, Sathya, Rubenkumar and Dinesh began assaulting him. Rubenkumar snatched the bag with cash and other items inside.

Rubenkumar took part of the bundle of cash and boarded a bus. He was later arrested. Cash of $5,243 was eventually recovered.

The maximum penalty for robbery is 14 years' jail and caning.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2015, with the headline 'Jail, caning for instigating man to commit robbery'. Print Edition | Subscribe