Former AETOS Officer Gets Jail & 18 Cane Strokes For Robbing Jurong Moneylender
Back in April 2021, a former AETOS officer robbed a moneylender in Jurong of more than S$24,800, copying the 2016 Standard Chartered heist.
On Tuesday (13 Sep), Mahadi Muhamad Mukhtar, 39, pleaded guilty to three charges of robbery as well as illegal possession of a revolver and ammunition. The High Court considered another two charges at the time of sentencing.
As a result, he has received a jail term of 16 years and six months in addition to 18 strokes of the cane.
Former AETOS officer robs Jurong moneylender at gunpoint
Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reports that Mahadi was working at AETOS as an auxiliary police officer when the incident occurred.
On 12 Apr 2021, he entered OT Credit at Block 135 Jurong Gateway Road in plain clothes, carrying a service revolver loaded with five rounds of ammunition. He passed a note with his demands to a loan officer.
Before complying with his demands to put money inside his sling bag, the officer pressed the panic button under the table.
But Mahadi managed to leave the store with more than S$24,800, boarding a GrabCar from the Science Centre to Boon Lay Shopping Centre.
There, he deposited S$10,000 at an OCBC ATM and S$14,000 into a POSB bank account. He then transferred about S$11,150 to loan sharks through four online banking transactions before tearing the robbery note up and discarding it.
At 4.50pm, he returned to work at AETOS Complex, changing back into his uniform. However, police managed to arrest him there less than five hours later.
Investigators traced and recovered the note and a bulk of the money, but roughly S$5,000 has remained missing.
According to The Straits Times (ST), this incident is the first time in 15 years that someone had used a gun during an armed robbery. The last such instance occurred in 2006 at a 4D outlet in Sun Plaza Shopping Centre.
Accumulated debt from unlicensed moneylenders
CNA states that Mahadi began borrowing money from unlicensed moneylenders to pay off bank loans in February 2021.
He had accumulated debt from six such moneylenders and decided to commit robbery to resolve his financial issues.
Mahadi proceeded to research places to target. He first thought of hitting a jewellery store but abandoned the idea as the products would be difficult to sell.
He then settled on robbing a moneylender, choosing OT credit as it had female staff and was previously the victim of a robbery.
Mahadi also admitted to copying David James Roach’s way of robbing the Standard Chartered Bank in 2016.
During that particular incident, Roach similarly wrote his demands on a note, handing it to a bank teller. He also placed his hand in a sling bag on the counter, pretending he had a gun.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh sought 15 to 20 years’ jail and 18 strokes of the cane for Mahadi.
He said Mahadi’s offences required a stiff deterrent sentence to ensure that everyone understood it was unacceptable and no one copied it.
He added that Mahadi’s actions in copying Roach proved that they must send a stronger message.
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