2 Myanmar men get jail for abduction attempt

They had been tasked with abducting man, and killing him after interrogation, torture

Two Myanmar nationals were tasked with abducting a man suspected of having an affair with the wife of a businessman. According to the plan, the man would then be interrogated, tortured and killed.

But the plan went awry when the victim, Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet, 29, put up a fierce struggle and managed to escape even after a stun gun had been used on him.

Yesterday, 40-year-old Zaw Min Hlaing was sentenced to four years, three months and two weeks in prison for a series of offences. He was also fined $4,000 and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for a year.

He was found guilty of seven charges including attempted abduction, possessing a foldable knife, having a stun gun and, on two occasions, letting another Myanmar man to drive without a licence or insurance coverage.

His accomplice, Phyo Min Naing, 34, was jailed for four years and three months, and fined $6,000. He had pleaded guilty to attempted abduction, having a stun gun and a pepper spray on Monday.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok told the court that businessman Aung Aung, 33, had suspected that his wife, known only as Sandi, was having an affair with Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet. Both men, from Myanmar, were Singapore permanent residents.

In 2014, Aung Aung engaged the help of Zaw Min Hlaing, who was working in Singapore, to tail his wife and Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet.

In May 2015, he told Zaw Min Hlaing to pick up Phyo Min Naing from the airport. The businessman later roped in the younger man to take part in the abduction.

The plan was for the duo to grab Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet and put him in a van. Aung Aung would take his keys and search his home for evidence of the alleged affair. After that, Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet would be taken to a chalet in Changi to be interrogated and killed.

On June 21, Zaw Min Hlaing and Phyo Min Naing parked their rented van beside Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet's car near Block 747A Pasir Ris Street 71. The duo each had a stun gun. They sprang into action when they saw the man walking towards his car.

Said APP Kok: "Phyo grabbed the victim from behind and began pushing him towards the van. The victim... put up a fierce struggle and shouted for help. At this, Zaw came over to help Phyo grab the victim from the back. During the struggle, Phyo used his stun device on the victim but was unable to subdue the victim."

When Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet saw some passers-by at the carpark and shouted for help, his would-be abductors fled the scene.

Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet then called the police.

Zaw Min Hlaing was arrested the next day and led police to the chalet where Phyo Min Naing was also arrested. Police seized a meat mincer, a chainsaw, kitchen knives, two gas stoves, a cleaver and a chopping board.

The court heard that Aung Aung fled Singapore before officers could arrest him. Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet left Singapore in December 2015.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2018, with the headline '2 Myanmar men get jail for abduction attempt'. Subscribe