Fugitive nabbed in Penang after 38 years on the run

The gunmen's weapons (left), and people looking at the motorcycle that was seized.
The gunmen's weapons (left), and people looking at the motorcycle that was seized. PHOTOS: NLB
Seow Lam Seng's crime dates back to Oct 3, 1980, when two police officers found him in possession of a pistol.
Seow Lam Seng's crime dates back to Oct 3, 1980, when two police officers found him in possession of a pistol. PHOTO: NLB

He fled in 1980 after police officers found him in possession of a pistol

The law finally caught up with Seow Lam Seng, who had been on the run for 38 years after he was found to be in unlawful possession of a firearm.

The police said yesterday that Seow, 63, was caught in Penang last Thursday by the Royal Malaysia Police and extradited to Singapore on Saturday.

Seow's crime dates back to Oct 3, 1980, when two police officers found him in possession of a pistol after he was seen to be behaving suspiciously in Tanjong Katong Road with Lee Ah Fatt, prompting the officers to check on them.

Lee allegedly drew his own pistol from his back trouser pocket and pointed it at the officers, one of whom drew his service revolver in defence and shot him.

Despite being injured, Lee continued to struggle with the police officers.

The commotion allowed Seow to flee from the scene.

While Lee eventually died of his injuries and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital, Seow managed to evade detection for 38 years.


Seow Lam Seng's crime dates back to Oct 3, 1980, when two police officers found him in possession of a pistol. Seow was seen to be behaving suspiciously in Tanjong Katong Road with Lee Ah Fatt (pictured). Lee allegedly drew his pistol from his back trouser pocket and pointed it at the officers. PHOTO: NLB

The police said yesterday that they have regularly reviewed the case in attempts to locate Seow.

But it was only last Thursday that they finally managed to nab him with the help of the Malaysian police and had him extradited to Singapore.

Seow will be charged in court today for unlawful possession of a firearm.

If convicted of the offence, he may be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations and Intelligence) Tan Chye Hee, who is also director of the Criminal Investigation Department, yesterday expressed his gratitude to the Royal Malaysia Police for their efforts to locate and arrest Seow.

"The arrest and extradition of the suspect after 38 years on the run would not be possible without the strong support from the Royal Malaysia Police, our closest crime-fighting partner," he said.

"The Singapore Police Force will continue to work closely with other law enforcement agencies to track down criminals, and ensure that they are brought to justice and face the full brunt of the law."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2018, with the headline 'Fugitive nabbed in Penang after 38 years on the run'. Print Edition | Subscribe