Most memorable case was audacious killing by One-Eyed Dragon

As the police celebrate their 200th anniversary with an exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore, The Straits Times' Zaihan Mohamed Yusof and Cara Wong speak to past and present police officers who are a part of the police force's transformation.

Mr Nasir Said (left), a retired Traffic Police officer, recalls waiting in cemeteries to ambush hell riders who raced their motorbikes in Lim Chu Kang. Supt Abdul Halim Osman (right), now with the Tanglin Police Division, remembers the case of One-Ey
Mr Nasir Said (left), a retired Traffic Police officer, recalls waiting in cemeteries to ambush hell riders who raced their motorbikes in Lim Chu Kang. Supt Abdul Halim Osman (right), now with the Tanglin Police Division, remembers the case of One-Eyed Dragon where a man, later established to be Tan Chor Jin, shot his victim in front of witnesses in a cold-blooded, execution-style murder. Tan, who had one blind eye, was found guilty and hanged in 2009. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

It was a daring, cold-blooded, execution-style murder rarely seen in Singapore.

Nightclub owner Lim Hock Soon was shot in his home on Feb 15, 2006, in front of his family.

When Superintendent (Supt) Abdul Halim Osman's team of officers from the Criminal Investigation Division arrived at the scene, the body was on the floor with five bullet holes.

The scene at the apartment was chaotic, with Mr Lim's wife, daughter and maid in distress.

"We had to control the situation and manage the witnesses. It was important that we got as much information as possible from them," said Supt Abdul Halim, 55, who was investigation officer of the case then. He is now with the Tanglin Police Division.

It was also imperative that they managed the scene properly as the consequences were severe, he added.

A murder charge carries the death penalty.

"We had to be 100 per cent sure that we didn't make any mistakes," he said.

The police spent the next two to three days processing the scene, collecting evidence and speaking to the witnesses.

They found out the killer's nickname was Tony Kia and with that lead, they managed to establish the man's real name as Tan Chor Jin, 39, who was a member of the Ang Soon Tong gang. He was dubbed the "One-Eyed Dragon" because of his one blind eye.

But Tan had fled to Malaysia and the police relied on their counterparts there to nab him 10 days after the murder, said Supt Abdul Halim.

Tan was sent back to Singapore and tried. He was found guilty and hanged in 2009.

Despite having handled several other murder cases, Supt Abdul Halim considers the One-eyed Dragon case memorable for the sheer audacity of a killer who had shot a man in front of witnesses.

"I don't think we can find cases like this in Singapore. It was a very aggressive act, so we had to get him."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2020, with the headline Most memorable case was audacious killing by One-Eyed Dragon. Subscribe