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     FrontPage Edition: Sat 3 June 2006

Police nab eight suspects involved in $1.5 million handphone heist


Handphone Heist - Eight Men Arrested In 3-Day Island-Wide Police Operation
 More Than 2000 Missing Handphones Recovered
In a 3-day operation, Police have arrested eight men who are suspected to be involved in a $1.5 million handphone robbery at Pasir Ris Park on Tuesday morning. More than 2,000 stolen handphones were recovered.
On 30th May at about 8.40 am, Police received information from a member of the public who spotted a man lying in a stationary vehicle at a carpark at Pasir Ris Park. Police officers responded to the scene and found a white lorry at Carpark A of Pasir Ris Park.
The victim, a 46-year-old Chinese man working as a delivery driver, was found leaning on the dash-board of a parked lorry with head injuries. The glass panel behind the passenger door was shattered and the front passenger seat was stained with blood.
No weapons were found at the scene. It is believed that the victim was assaulted with a blunt object. He was conveyed to hospital by paramedics where he is still in a critical but stable condition.
Police investigations established that a consignment of 2,700 pieces of handphone sets with a total value of about S$1.5 million was missing. The cargo had been collected at the Changi Cargo Complex by the victim on the same day at about 6.50 am and was to be transported to a warehouse at Henderson Road.
Since Tuesday morning, Police had mounted an island-wide operation to track down the perpetrators involved.
Through protracted investigations and information received, yesterday (31 May 2006) at about 6.50 pm, a 48-year-old Indian man was arrested at an open carpark at Toa Payoh Central. Cash of $5,000/-, believed to be proceeds from the sales of the stolen handphone sets, were seized from him. At the same time, a 47-year-old Chinese man was detained by Police at Rivervale Walk. A total of 20 handphones were found in his vehicle.
About half an hour later, two other men were arrested at separate locations. The third and fourth suspects - a 20-year-old Indian man was picked-up by Police at Circular Road, while a 36-year-old Indian man was ambushed by officers at Dunlop Street. A handphone set was also seized from his vehicle. At about 7.45 pm, the fifth person, a 36-year-old Indian man was arrested at Campbell Lane.
The sixth man, a 29-year-old Chinese man, a proprietor of a handphone shop, was arrested at about 9.15 pm at City Plaza.
Shortly after midnight, the seventh suspect, a 36-year-old Indian man, who is the victim's colleague, was arrested at his Yishun flat.
Following up on further information, two crates which contained a total of 497 handphone sets were recovered at a flat in Ang Mo Kio early this morning. The eighth suspect, a 38-year-old Indian man was arrested at the ground floor of a Hougang flat this afternoon. Early this evening, six more crates of handphones were recovered during a police raid at Sungei Kadut Way.
Police are still looking for two more accomplices who may be involved in the crime. CID officers are also working to recover the remaining handphones.
With regard to the operation, SAC Lock Wai Han, Director CID said, "Our officers have worked tirelessly round the clock for the past three days to gather information, track, apprehend the culprits and recover the loot. We will continue and we will find the remaining persons involved."
The first and eighth suspects will be charged in court tomorrow for Armed Robbery with Hurt with common intention. The seventh suspect will be charged for an offence of abetment to an armed robbery with hurt. Four of the men will be produced in court tomorrow for dishonestly receiving and disposing stolen property. The third suspect will be released on bail for further investigations.
01 June 2006 @ 9.45 pm

Source: Media Release 1 Jun 2006

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