Man on the run after 1996 robbery gets four years' jail

Foo Siang Thian fled Singapore after the Taman Jurong robbery in 1996 and went to Malaysia. He finally surrendered to the Royal Malaysia Police in March this year and was sent back to Singapore.
Foo Siang Thian fled Singapore after the Taman Jurong robbery in 1996 and went to Malaysia. He finally surrendered to the Royal Malaysia Police in March this year and was sent back to Singapore.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

He was convicted for his role in robbing a man and stealing a motorcycle 20 years ago

After committing robbery in Taman Jurong in 1996, a Singaporean man fled to Malaysia.

From then, he was on the run for more than 20 years.

Foo Siang Thian remained in Kuala Lumpur until March 2 this year when he finally surrendered to the Royal Malaysia Police and was sent back to Singapore.

Foo, now 59, was jailed for four years and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for three years yesterday, after pleading guilty to one count each of robbery and stealing a motorcycle.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Shana Poon said that Foo was facing financial difficulties when he committed the offences in July 1996.

He had approached his friend Lee Ai Eng, then 36, and suggested that they rob Lee's former employer Ang Teck Nguang.

Foo also roped in How Meng Yan, then 32.

"Lee had previously told the accused where the victim would withdraw money from the bank to pay his employees," DPP Poon told the court.

Sometime between July 4 and July 5 that year, Foo, accompanied by Lee, stole a motorcycle from a void deck in Bedok South Avenue 1.

At around 9am on July 5, Foo met Lee and How outside Jurong Town Swimming Complex before they headed separate ways.

Foo and How rode the stolen motorcycle to Yung Kuang Road in Taman Jurong near the bank at Block 65 where Mr Ang would withdraw money, and Lee drove his car to a multi-storey carpark in Tah Ching Road.

Mr Ang, then 43, withdrew $44,876, and was walking towards his car at about 11am when Foo and How approached him, armed with knives wrapped in newspapers.

DPP Poon said: "Sensing that something was amiss, the victim tried to run back towards the bank, but was stopped by the accused and How, one of whom grabbed the victim from his rear. Out of fear, the victim threw an envelope containing the cash onto the ground."

Foo and How picked up the money and escaped on the motorcycle. They met Lee at the carpark, boarded his car and fled to Foo's Chai Chee flat to share the loot. Foo fled to Malaysia later that year.

Lee was convicted of robbery and stealing a vehicle on Oct 28 that year. He was sentenced to three years and two months' jail, and six strokes of the cane. He was also disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for three years.

How, who was convicted of robbery two months later, was given three years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2018, with the headline 'Man on the run after 1996 robbery gets four years' jail'. Print Edition | Subscribe