A 37-year-old Indian-origin Singaporean was sentenced to three years in jail with six strokes of the cane on Monday for his involvement an audacious daylight robbery at a jewellery shop last year during which valuable items worth USD 87,880 were looted. Veeramani Subran Das pleaded guilty to his role in the crime. The cases involving his two alleged Indian-origin Singaporean accomplices - M Jegatheesh, 28, and Sharavindran Suppiah, 32 - are still pending.
Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Thiagesh Sukumaran and Jeremy Bin stated in court documents that Jegatheesh met the two others at around 9 pm on August 13 last year. Jegatheesh told them that he wanted to rob Hock Cheong Jade and Jewellery shop at Block 574, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 the next day.
The court heard that he chose the shop as it looked old and assumed that it was not installed with an alarm system. The prosecutors added that Jegatheesh chose the shop as the owners, Ling Hew Kwong, 70, and his brother, Leng Yew Weng, 75, “were of advanced age and would not be able to put up resistance".
The court heard that Jegatheesh reached the store at around 4 pm and tried to pull down the roller shutter at its entrance. When it became stuck midway, he shouted at Ling and his brother before jumping over a jewellery counter.
Amid the ruckus, the two shop owners managed to press hidden alarm buttons to notify an external security firm that their store was being robbed. The DPPs said that Jegatheesh then “swept the jewellery, including gold necklaces, bracelets, and pendants, into his duffle bag".
The two shop owners did not confront Jegatheesh as he was bigger than them, the court heard. Ling, however, shouted for help, alerting two people nearby, and one of them alerted the police. After an investigation, police raided Veeramani’s home at 1.30 am on August 16 last year. Officers have since managed to recover the stolen valuables.
The prosecutors called a “brazen and audacious daylight robbery", For robbery, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and receive at least six strokes of the cane.