Man jailed and caned for robbing moneychanger of $24,500

Elanggovan Gopalan was sentenced to 30 months' jail and six strokes of the cane for his part in the robbery.
Elanggovan Gopalan was sentenced to 30 months' jail and six strokes of the cane for his part in the robbery.PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - A crane operator who took part in a $24,500 robbery with four others six years ago was jailed for 30 months and ordered to be given the minimum six strokes of the cane on Wednesday (Sept 7).

Malaysian Elanggovan Gopalan, 34, had admitted robbing Mr Chang Lai Huat of $24,000 and two mobile phones worth $500 with his compatriot Vijajathevan Kanniy,34, and three others along Woodlands Square Civic Centre on May 31, 2010. None of the other accomplices have been arrested.

A district court heard that when Elanggovan met Vijajathevan at Woodlands Centre Road that day, Vijajathevan told him about a "job'' which Elanggovan understood to mean a robbery.

Vijajathevan asked Elanggovan to drive a car to be used in the robbery and handed him a car key and told him to wait for his instructions.

A few minutes later, Vijajathevan called Elanggovan and the latter picked up the former near Marsiling MRT station and dropped Vijajathevan and three other men to Woodlands Civic Centre.

When moneychanger Chang, a 60-year-old Malaysian, was about to enter Woodlands Civic Centre three men grabbed him and dragged him into the back seat of the Proton Wira car.

They punched him, covered his head and took his cash and mobile phones and shoved him out of the car when the car stopped.

Elanggovan's lawyer N. Kanagavijayan said in mitigation that his client had no idea before May 31, 2010 that Vijajathevan wanted to commit robbery. Neither did he know that three more men were involved .

He said at all times, his client played a minor and subordinate role in the robbery and deeply regretted taking part in it.

Elanggovan's sentence was backdated to his remand on Aug 5 last year. He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and caned.