From The Straits Times archives: Kovan double murder

The trial of ex-police officer Iskandar Rahmat (right) for the 2013 murder of a father and son in Kovan will start in the High Court on Tuesday (Oct 20).
The trial of ex-police officer Iskandar Rahmat (right) for the 2013 murder of a father and son in Kovan will start in the High Court on Tuesday (Oct 20). PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Police officer Iskandar Rahmat, who was sentenced to hang on Dec 4, 2015 after he was convicted of the murder of Mr Tan Boon Sin, 67, and his elder son, Mr Tan Chee Heong, 42, in Kovan on July 10, 2013, appealed in Oct 2016 against his conviction and sentence. He will know the outcome of his appeal on his 38th birthday on Friday (Feb 3). 

Grisly details of the double murder and the 54-hour manhunt for Iskandar, who had fled to Malaysia, shocked Singaporeans. 

The Straits Times delves into its archives to recap the chain of events that led to the capture of Iskandar. 

Father and son found dead in Kovan


Police officers and forensic staff outside the terrace house in Hillside Drive, where the double murder took place. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

A father and son were believed to have been murdered in Kovan yesterday, with a 1km trail of blood linking their bodies. 

The father, in his 70s, was found at a terrace house in Hillside Drive. But the body of his son, who was in his 40s, was apparently dragged under a car to outside Kovan MRT station.

The police have appealed for information on the vehicle, whose licence plate is SGM14J – matching the number of the house.

An eyewitness who was driving along Upper Serangoon Road said she saw a man, with his face to the ground, being dragged underneath a silver Toyota Camry. 

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Car found in Eunos, search on for Kovan killer


An investigating officer examining the silver Toyota Camry, which was found abandoned at Eunos Avenue 7. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

A dispute, possibly over money matters, may have led to Wednesday’s gruesome double murder in Kovan.

At press time last night, no arrests were made for the deaths of Mr Tan Boon Sin, 67, and his elder son, Mr Tan Chee Heong, 42.

But the car which dragged the younger man from his father’s terrace house at Hillside Drive to Kovan MRT station was located in Eunos.

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Murdered dad was ‘ultimate nice guy’


Mr Tan Boon Sin was known to be a fishing enthusiast. PHOTO: ALAN TAN

He did not drink, smoke or gamble, and had an even temper.

A car mechanic-turned-successful business owner, Mr Tan Boon Sin seemed like the ultimate nice guy: He would offer to pick up his neighbours’ children from school, and even wanted to give his workers a $100 incentive to quit smoking.

“He did not drink, smoke, gamble, or womanise. The only thing he liked doing was fishing,” said former business partner Chong Hoy Song, 68, who had known Mr Tan since 1965. They later set up Soc Leon Motor Works together, said the retiree.

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Older victim took out items ‘from safe deposit box’


The interior of Mr Tan Boon Sin's car workshop Soc Leon Motor Works, where Mr Tan was last seen alive by one of his staff, on July 16, 2013. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

For Mr Tan Boon Sin, Wednesday seemed to have started like any other. The 67-year-old had gone for lunch with a regular client of Soc Leon Motor Works, his car workshop at Autobay@Kaki Bukit. 

This was not unusual. But when the pair returned to the workshop after lunch, Mr Tan left abruptly at 1pm without his client, whose car was still being serviced. 

After leaving the workshop, Mr Tan reportedly made his way to the Certis Cisco Centre at Paya Lebar.

Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao quoted a source as saying that he had withdrawn “bags of items” – including important documents and valuables – from a safe deposit box there.

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Arrested at popular JB eatery


Iskandar Rahmat was nabbed at Restoran Singgah Selalu, a popular eatery among Singaporeans located at Danga Bay. PHOTO: ST FILE

Two days after he fled Singapore, the law finally caught up with murder suspect Iskandar Rahmat at a seafood restaurant he knew well.

Restoran Singgah Selalu, an eatery popular with Singaporeans, was located at Danga Bay, a waterfront area just minutes from the Causeway.

The operations manager of the 24-hour restaurant, Mr Azhar Abu Bakar, told The Sunday Times that he recognised Iskandar because he had been there several times before with a small group of friends.

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Shock, disbelief at cop’s arrest


Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (right) and Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee at a press conference announcing the capture of Kovan double murder suspect Iskandar Rahmat on July 13, 2013. PHOTO: ST FILE

A 54-hour manhunt following last week’s brutal double murder at Kovan ended yesterday with a policeman in custody, sparking disbelief that a law enforcement officer was the prime suspect.

Senior Staff Sergeant Iskandar Rahmat, 34, was nabbed in Johor Baru on Friday night for the murders of motor workshop owner Tan Boon Sin, 67, and his son, Mr Tan Chee Heong, 42. 

Iskandar, a 14-year veteran of the force and a member of the Bedok Police Division, was brought back to Singapore yesterday as Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee broke the news about his identity at a sombre press conference.

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Suspect declared bankrupt last week


Iskandar Rahmat being escorted back to Singapore after his arrest in Johor Baru. PHOTO: TV9 MALAYSIA

As a policeman, Iskandar Rahmat was once commended for providing good customer service. 

But in the months leading up to the double murder in Kovan, the senior staff sergeant from Bedok Police Division was neck-deep in debt.

Checks showed that he was declared a bankrupt on Thursday – just a day after he allegedly killed Mr Tan Boon Sin, 67, and his son Mr Tan Chee Heong, 42. 

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Suspect ‘in regular contact with older Kovan victim’


Iskandar Rahmat, who was said to have been in touch with one of his two victims, back at the crime scene with police officers on July 13, 2013. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

Kovan double murder suspect Iskandar Rahmat was believed to have been in touch with one of his two victims – the late Mr Tan Boon Sin – on a regular basis since late last year.

A close relative of Mr Tan told The Straits Times that Iskandar would call the 67-year-old car workshop owner to update him about a case of theft from his safe deposit box at the Certis Cisco building which he had reported to the police last November.

“He would call Boon Sin every few weeks to update him on the theft and reassure him that the investigation was going well, and that the matter would be resolved,” said the relative, who wanted to be known as Mrs Tan.

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Cop charged with Kovan murders, faces death penalty


Photographers and media crew scrambling to get a picture of Iskandar Rahmat as he was being escorted by police officers in a car on July 15, 2013. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

The policeman at the centre of the Kovan double murder showed no emotion in the dock yesterday as he was charged with the brutal slaying of a father and son.

Iskandar Rahmat, 34, is accused of killing car workshop owner Tan Boon Sin, 66, and his 42-year-old son.

He faces the death penalty if convicted.

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Victims’ family bids emotional farewell


The wife of Mr Tan Chee Heong (second from right) crying as she pushed the hearse carrying her husband's body during the funeral procession. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

As the coffins carrying his father and brother were pushed into the cremation chambers yesterday, Mr Tan Chee Wee made them a solemn promise.

“Dad and brother, I will take care of our family,” he said tearfully in Hokkien. “Don’t worry, brother. Your kids are my kids now.”

Emotions ran high yesterday as the Tan family bade farewell to Mr Tan Boon Sin and Mr Tan Chee Heong who were brutally murdered last week in Kovan.

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Kovan murder suspect to claim trial

The police officer accused of the Kovan double murder made a surprise appearance yesterday in court, where it was agreed that he will undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Senior staff sergeant Iskandar Rahmat, who was arrested in Johor Baru two weeks ago after a 54-hour manhunt, has also told his lawyers that he wants to claim trial to all charges against him.

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