JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Singaporean fugitive, who went to Malaysia for a family holiday, has been nabbed after being on the wanted list for two years over the disappearance of S$1 million from a money changer.
The arrest led to two other Singaporean fugitives, aged 48 and 49, being detained. All three are businessmen in car-dealing operations.
The trio were arrested in Johor Baru.
It all began several days ago when the 54-year-old businessman presented his passport at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex whereby an alert immediately emerged that led to him being detained.
Immigration officers handed him to the police, who subsequently managed to track down and arrest two other Singaporeans in connection with the disappearance of the money from a money changer in Johor Baru on March 2, 2020.
Police are now looking for a Malaysian who had been working as a runner for the money changer for eight years until he absconded that morning.
Sources said the Malaysian was tasked with transporting the cash to a bank that day.
He drove a bulletproof car owned by his company, while the money was transported to the bank in a security van. The bank was still closed when they arrived at 8.45am.
The Malaysian then complained of having chest pains and asked his co-worker and security guards to return to their workplace to get his medication, leaving him with the money.
But when they returned to the bank with the medication, the man had already fled.
He was believed to have driven the company vehicle to Danga Bay, where he met the Singaporeans and divided the loot among themselves.
The suspects then abandoned the company vehicle.
Johor Commercial Crime Investigations Department chief Amran Md Jusin, when contacted, said police are now looking for the 49-year-old Malaysian believed to be involved in the criminal breach of trust case.
He declined to comment further, aside from confirming the arrests of the three fugitives.
It is learnt that the Malaysian might have fled to the Philippines with his foreign wife. The police are working with Interpol to track him down.
As for the three Singaporeans, sources said they had been able to evade the police over the past two years due to Covid-19 lockdowns.
The man who visited Malaysia for a family holiday is out on police bail after his statement was recorded.
He is said to suffer from a serious ailment.
It is learnt that the other two suspects have since been remanded to assist in investigations.
This is the second series of arrests involving those who targeted money changers in Malaysia.
Last month, police arrested four people, including a woman, who had robbed a money changer of S$110,000 on April 29.
Police also recovered almost S$42,000 of the loot which was kept in biscuit tins.
Also seized were pawn shop receipts, jewellery worth about RM12,000 (S$3,760) and mobile phones.
The total value of the items came to about RM144,076.
During the robbery, two men on separate motorcycles snatched the money from two employees of a money changer while they were transporting S$110,000 to a bank.