Boon Tat Street murder suspect charged

Tan Nam Seng allegedly stabbed his son-in-law, Mr Spencer Tuppani, in Boon Tat Street on Monday. The victim died later in hospital. Tan will be remanded for investigation until July 19.
Tan Nam Seng allegedly stabbed his son-in-law, Mr Spencer Tuppani, in Boon Tat Street on Monday. The victim died later in hospital. Tan will be remanded for investigation until July 19.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A 69-year-old businessman who allegedly stabbed his son-in-law in front of a lunchtime crowd in the Central Business District on Monday afternoon was charged yesterday with murder.

Tan Nam Seng allegedly caused the death of Mr Spencer Tuppani, 38, a former director of shipping company TNS Ocean Lines, in Boon Tat Street, near Robinson Road, at 1.22pm that day.

Clad in a red polo shirt and blue bermudas, Tan showed no expression as the charge was read to him in English.

Mr Tuppani's wife, Ms Tan Cheng Cheng, 43, was in court. She is Tan's daughter.

After he was stabbed, Mr Tuppani collapsed about 70m away outside an eatery, A Poke Theory, along the same street.

He died about an hour later in hospital.

Tan's lawyer, Mr Andy Chiok, asked District Judge Christopher Goh if his client's family could talk to him for two minutes to ensure that his health was all right.

He said Tan has "chronic medical conditions", and the family was concerned about his health.

When Judge Goh asked Tan if he had medication with him, Tan said yes. The judge denied counsel's request for the family to see him in view of the ongoing investigation.

After the case was heard, Ms Tan said in a statement: "This is a double tragedy for the family. Our family has lost a loved one and my beloved father is facing a serious charge."

Requesting that the family's privacy be respected, she added: "You cannot imagine our immense grief, but please try to understand and let us have some peace."

In a statement dated July 10, police said they received a call for assistance in Boon Tat Street at around 1.20pm that day.

Officers arrived at the scene to find Mr Tuppani lying motionless and Tan standing nearby.

Tan will be remanded at the Central Police Division for investigation until July 19.

If convicted of murder, he faces the death penalty.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2017, with the headline 'Boon Tat Street murder suspect charged'. Print Edition | Subscribe