Moneychanger robbed of $600k: Man jailed, caned

Malaysian was part of gang that snatched two bags of currencies; four others at large

A Malaysian man who was part of a gang that brazenly robbed a moneychanger of over $600,000 at an Aljunied carpark in 2014 was sentenced to seven years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane yesterday.

Ravi Sandhira Sagaran, 28, admitted to robbing Mr Ali Yousouf Saiboo, 35, of two bags containing $624,036 in Singapore and foreign currencies at the open-air carpark of Block 110, Aljunied Crescent, at 12.53am on Nov 5, 2014.

Four Malaysians who committed the offence with him are at large.

A second charge of conspiring with several men, including Malaysian Tachana Moorthy Peromal, 29, and Singapore permanent resident Annadurai Raman, 43, to steal a car from a multi-storey carpark in Woodlands was considered during sentencing. Both will go on trial next month.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Soo Tet said Ravi agreed to participate in the robbery after being promised a share of the proceeds.

Ravi was yesterday sentenced to seven years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane.

Ravi and his accomplices were roped in to rob Mr Saiboo, whose father-in-law's moneychanging business employs couriers to deliver bundles of foreign and Singapore currencies in cash to its customers in Kuala Lumpur, and vice versa.

Between September and October 2014, the accomplices entered Singapore and met Annadurai to discuss how to execute the robbery. DPP Tan said Ravi and the seven accomplices, including Malaysian Baskaran Balakrishnan, 33, who did not take part in the robbery but was in a getaway vehicle, made three separate attempts between Oct 27 and 29 to carry out the robbery.

On Nov 3, Ravi and his accomplices arrived in Singapore at night for another attempt. The next day, Tachana told Annadurai to prepare a car and a motorcycle in addition to the latter's motorcycle for use as getaway vehicles. Annadurai borrowed a car and a motorcycle.

That night, Ravi was with four accomplices in a stolen car to look out for Mr Saiboo's car near Geylang East Avenue 1. They put on balaclavas and face masks and stuck plasters on their fingertips.

Mr Saiboo's car was spotted at 12.45am heading towards his home in Geylang East Central.

But he changed his mind and decided to safekeep the $600,000 worth of currencies at his father-in-law's home in Aljunied Crescent.

Ravi and the four men tailed Mr Saiboo's car and blocked it with their car at a parking space. Mr Saiboo, whose two-year-old son was with him, activated the door locks in his car.

One of the men smashed his car window with a crowbar, while another dragged Mr Saiboo out and assaulted him.

Ravi was arrested on Nov 12, 2014. None of the money has been recovered.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2016, with the headline 'Moneychanger robbed of $600k: Man jailed, caned'. Print Edition | Subscribe