Myanmar duo guilty of bid to abduct man 'in illicit affair'

Myanmar national Phyo Min Naing (left) and Singapore permanent resident Zaw Min Hlaing (right) were recruited by a Myanmar businessman to abduct his wife's lover with a view to getting him killed.
Myanmar national Phyo Min Naing (left) and Singapore permanent resident Zaw Min Hlaing (right) were recruited by a Myanmar businessman to abduct his wife's lover with a view to getting him killed. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

Court told they were hired by a businessman who suspected his wife of being unfaithful

A Myanmar businessman, who suspected his wife of having an affair with an engineer, hired two men to abduct his rival with a view to killing him, a district court heard.

Alleged mastermind Aung Aung, also known as Win Kyaw Kyaw Aung, 33, is a Singapore permanent resident. He has left Singapore and the police are seeking his arrest.

He recruited Zaw Min Hlaing, 40, and Phyo Min Naing, 34, to abduct Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet alias Thomson, 29, a Singapore permanent resident who was working here in 2015. Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet's whereabouts are currently unknown.

Aung Aung's plan was to have Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet abducted, and to take his house keys to search his home for evidence of the affair with his wife Sandi. Aung Aung also wanted to confine him to Aloha Changi chalet, to interrogate him on the affair and eventually have him killed, investigations showed.

However, the attempted abduction from a Pasir Ris multi-storey carpark on June 21, 2015, failed after Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet put up a fierce struggle and shouted for help.

Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet was tasered but refused to be subdued. When he called out to passers-by at the carpark to help him, Zaw Min Hlaing and Phyo Min Naing released him and fled, leaving their van parked next to the victim's car.

Zaw Min Hlaing and Phyo Min Naing, who had claimed trial and were tried for three days in August last year, yesterday pleaded guilty to their crimes.

Zaw Min Hlaing, who is a Singapore permanent resident, was convicted of seven charges - attempted abduction, possessing a foldable knife, having control of a stun gun and permitting another Myanmar national to drive on two occasions without a driving licence or insurance coverage.

Phyo Min Naing admitted to attempted abduction, having control of a stun gun and a pepper spray.

The court heard that in 2014, Aung Aung asked Zaw Min Hlaing to tail Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet and Sandi in a rental car, and provided him with GPS trackers for each of their cars.

In May 2015, Aung Aung instructed Zaw Min Hlaing to pick up Phyo Min Naing and another Myanmar national from the airport. He paid for their expenses and asked them to lease a room close to where Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet lived.

The men booked the Aloha Changi chalet for three days from June 21, 2015. They prepared their stun devices and parked their rental van next to Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet's car in the multi-storey carpark in Pasir Ris Street 71 on June 21.

Aung Aung's plan was to have Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet abducted, and to take his house keys to search his home for evidence of the affair with his wife Sandi. Aung Aung also wanted to confine him to Aloha Changi chalet, to interrogate him on the affair and eventually have him killed, investigations showed.

When Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet turned up that evening, Zaw Min Hlaing and Phyo Min Naing grabbed him from behind and began pushing him towards the van. Mr Aye Maung Maung Thet called the police after the two men fled, following his escape.

Zaw Min Hlaing was arrested the next day when he returned to the rental company. He then led police to the chalet where Phyo Min Naing and another Myanmar national were arrested. Police seized, among other things, luggage, a meat mincer, a chainsaw, kitchen knives, two gas stoves, a cleaver, a chopping board and rubber boots.

To date, only Myanmar national Yae Wynnt Oaung, 33, an oil trader, has been dealt with in connection with the case. He was given six weeks' jail in December 2015 for 20 driving-related offences.

District Judge Tan Jen Tse adjourned the case to Friday for mitigation.

Deputy Public Prosecutors John Lu Zhuoren, Amanda Sum and Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok prosecuted the case. Zaw Min Hlaing and Phyo Min Naing are represented by Mr R.S. Bajwa and Mr S. Radakrishnan respectively.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2017, with the headline 'Myanmar duo guilty of bid to abduct man 'in illicit affair''. Print Edition | Subscribe