Bomb hoax call in 2004 lands man in jail

Justice was finally served yesterday when a man was sent to jail over false messages he made in 2004 involving a "bomb" at late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's Oxley Road house.

The court heard that Ganesan Singaravel fled Singapore on Jan 22, 2005, after informing the police about the purported bomb.

He was caught overstaying in the United States last year and told the authorities there that he wanted to return to Singapore. The Singaporean was detained when he came back here on July 15 last year.

Ganesan, now 61, was sentenced to four months' jail yesterday after pleading guilty to an offence under the Telecommunications Act.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Benjamin Samynathan told the court that Ganesan went to an Orchard Towers pub around midnight on Nov 13, 2004, and drank whisky until about 4am. He then went to a nearby convenience store to buy more drinks.

At around 5am, a policeman attached to the Combined Operations Room of the Singapore Police Force received a call from Ganesan, who made references to a bomb at Mr Lee's house.

The DPP added: "The call was made by the accused from a public phone located next to the Thai Embassy. The call's message was clearly false, and the accused knew that the text of the call was false.

LIFE DESTROYED BY ALCOHOL

The accused realises how alcohol has utterly destroyed his life and family, leading to his wife to divorce him, leaving him with nothing and his children to give up on him.

GANESAN SINGARAVEL'S PLEA STATEMENT

"A patrol car was sent to Orchard Towers to interview and arrest the accused. The accused was coherent during his interactions with the officers at the scene.

"Meanwhile, the officers who were already stationed at Oxley Road were told to step up patrols and be alert and vigilant."

Ganesan was charged on Nov 16, 2004, but while out on bail, he fled Singapore about two months later and came back only last year.

Defence lawyers Ravinderpal Singh and James Ow Yong stated in their mitigation plea that their client was drunk when he committed the offence.

The plea also stated: "The accused realises how alcohol has utterly destroyed his life and family, leading to his wife to divorce him, leaving him with nothing and his children to give up on him.

"The accused's family no longer wants anything to do with him. The offence has taken a terrible toll on the accused."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2019, with the headline 'Bomb hoax call in 2004 lands man in jail'. Print Edition | Subscribe