Man, 48, jailed for his role in staged robbery at Kopitiam office in Sengkang

A manager of the Kopitiam outlet at Rivervale Plaza (above) is allegedly a co-conspirator in the robbery ruse. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - A man out on bail for drug-related offences agreed to stage a robbery at a Kopitiam office in Sengkang, a ruse planned by one of its managers.

On March 3 last year, Tan Lye Meng armed himself with a knife and at 11.45am, turned up at Block 11 Rivervale Crescent, where the firm's management office is located.

As planned, the 48-year-old pointed the weapon at Lee Kah Yeow, who opened a safe and placed $6,000 in cash into a bag.

Lee, also 48, was a manager of the Kopitiam outlet at Rivervale Plaza and allegedly his co-conspirator in the robbery ruse.

Although Tan fled the scene, he was arrested four days later.

On Thursday (Jan 9), Tan was sentenced to seven years and seven months' jail, with six strokes of the cane, after pleading guilty to dishonestly receiving stolen property. He also admitted to four drug-related offences and an unrelated housebreaking charge.

Lee has not been dealt with in court.

The plan was hatched last February, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheryl Yeo. It was not mentioned in court how the pair planned to share the spoils of their crime but DPP Yeo said Tan ended up using the $6,000 to repay debts and buy drugs for his own consumption.

He has made no restitution.

Tan had other run-ins with the law.

On Aug 17, 2017, he and his 38-year-old wife, Yew Soo Yee, broke into a man's flat at around 1am.

They knew their victim - Mr Ravindran Murugesan, 56. He was involved in a loan Yew had obtained, the court heard.

When they arrived at the unit, the couple repeatedly kicked Mr Ravindran's front door, eventually forcing a way in after Tan broke the door.

Yew entered the unit and called out to Mr Ravindran, who finally stepped out of the flat to talk to the pair.

A scuffle then ensued with Tan swinging a chair at Mr Ravindran while trying to get him to sign a loan document.

DPP Yeo said: "Despite the chair missing the victim, the victim felt alarmed. After the scuffle, (Yew) told the victim to sign the said document, which the victim did. Thereafter, both (Yew and Tan) left the unit."

Yew had earlier been sentenced to a month's jail.

Tan also admitted in court to two counts each of drug possession and consumption. He had committed these offences in 2018 and early last year.

Offenders convicted of dishonestly receiving stolen property can be jailed for up to five years and fined.

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