SINGAPORE - Unhappy with members of another gang, a secret society member here bought a gun in Malaysia for about $1,400 and smuggled it back to Singapore as he wanted to use it to "scare" them.
Food stall operator Muhammad Ikram Abdul Aziz kept the weapon along with eight bullets in his Jurong West flat and was caught only when Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers raided the unit in an unrelated case.
The 26-year-old Singaporean was sentenced on Monday (March 1) to seven years and 10 months' jail with six strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to being in possession of a Shooters Sea Hawk pistol.
The case involving his friend, Amirul Asyraff Muhammad Junus, also 26, is still pending.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Norine Tan said that the two men were close friends and had played football for the under-18 team of Tanjong Pagar United in 2012. They later joined the same secret society.
In January 2019, Amirul found out that a man known as "Faris" had beaten up Amirul's former wife outside Club Baliza in Marina Square.
She later told Amirul that Faris belonged to another gang.
The DPP said: "Amirul told Ikram about this incident to convey his unhappiness and asked Ikram for his advice on how to solve the problem.
"Amirul wanted to take revenge on (her) behalf... at that point in time. Ikram told Amirul not to act rashly and that he would help him but did not want to get into a fight because Ikram had a young daughter."
Ikram then decided to buy a gun to scare the members of the other gang and show them that Amirul could not be bullied.
Ikram went to a tattoo shop in a Johor Baru shopping mall in February 2019 and met a man known only as "Boy JB".
Boy JB told the Singaporean that he would find a gun for him and the pair exchanged mobile phone numbers.
Ikram went back to Malaysia a few days later and gave $900 to Boy JB.
Ikram returned to Johor Baru with his parents in a car in March 2019. He then deposited RM1,500 (about S$500) into Boy JB's bank account.
Boy JB met him later that day to hand him the weapon, a pistol magazine and eight bullets.
Ikram was in his rented condominium in Johor Baru at around 4am when he wrapped the items in a towel before placing them in a bag. The court heard that he smuggled the illicit items back to Singapore the next day.
The DPP said: "Ikram decided to bring the gun back while travelling with his parents as he observed that the Customs officers would seldom check his belongings if he was travelling with his parents."
Ikram showed the weapon to Amirul later that month when his friend went to his flat for dinner.
The offence came to light on Oct 8, 2019, when two CNB officers detained Ikram at the void deck of Block 731 Jurong West Street 72 for suspected drug consumption.
They raided his flat soon after and found the gun, the bullets and the magazine, the court heard.
For being in possession of a gun, an offender can be jailed for between five and 10 years and receive at least six strokes of the cane.