Jail for man who helped dispose of 55 stolen vehicles

He helped to dispose of 55 Toyota vehicles that were stolen in Malaysia, driving them across the Causeway to Singapore to be exported to other countries.

Malaysian Freddy Augustus Juary, 37, was yesterday sentenced to 2-1/2 years' jail after pleading guilty to 10 counts of being part of a conspiracy to help in disposing the stolen vehicles. Another 45 similar charges were considered during sentencing.

The total value of the vehicles was not stated in court documents, which said that only three - two trucks and a sports utility vehicle - had been recovered so far.

The court heard that Freddy, an odd-job worker, committed the offences between December 2015 and October last year after receiving instructions from an alleged accomplice, Goh Chon Kong, who is also a Malaysian.

Goh has not been dealt with in court.

Court documents said he contacted Freddy in 2014 and offered him a job - driving Malaysia-registered vehicles into Singapore.

Freddy accepted the offer.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Cheng Yuxi said Freddy was then tasked to go to various locations in Malaysia to pick up parked vehicles.

She told District Judge Toh Yung Cheong that Freddy would drive the vehicles through the Woodlands Checkpoint before making his way to designated drop-off points in Singapore.

He initially parked the vehicles in Fan Yoong Road near Boon Lay Way but he later left them in Sungei Kadut.

DPP Cheng said: "All the vehicles were stolen in Malaysia by unknown persons... reports had been lodged by the victims with the Royal Malaysian Police, stating that their vehicles had been stolen. After the accused drove the vehicles into Singapore, they were exported to other countries."

The destinations were not revealed in court documents. After leaving the keys behind, he would take a public bus back to Johor and meet Goh, who paid him up to RM250 (S$82) for each trip.

The DPP added that Freddy had reasonable grounds to believe that the vehicles were stolen property.

For instance, from the second week of October last year, Goh instructed Freddy to remove the registration plates of the vehicles.

Freddy did as he was told. He broke the plates into pieces and threw them away.

Court documents did not state how the offences came to light, but officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Divisional Headquarters detained Freddy at Woodlands Checkpoint on Oct 27 last year.

Anyone convicted of helping to dispose of stolen property can be jailed for up to five years and fined on each charge.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2019, with the headline 'Jail for man who helped dispose of 55 stolen vehicles'. Print Edition | Subscribe