Four convicted in Singapore for robbing Indian businessmen

Singapore, June 5 (IANS) Four men were convicted on Friday for robbing three Indian businessmen in Singapore’s Little India area, media reported.

The businessmen staying at a Little India lodging house in September 2012, were robbed of S$1.27 million ($942,220) through a fake police raid, reported The Straits Times.

Magesan Ramasamy, 36, and Mohamed Faizal Ajmalhan, 32, posing as police officers forced their way into the rooms of the lodging house, demanded the passports of the businessmen, and their money, while Indian construction workers Arunachalam Lakshmanan, 37, and Chinnaya Antony Samy, 38, kept watch on the street.

Lakshmanan and Samy allegedly provided the rest of the gang with information about the businessmen, who they believed were involved in illegal money remittance.

A fifth member of the group, taxi driver and police reservist Mohammad Ansari Abdul Hussain provided the police uniforms and also posed as a cop.

He pleaded guilty to gang robbery and impersonating as a public servant in 2013 and was sentenced to eight years in jail and 12 cane strokes.

During the 23-day trial, Magesan and Faizal’s lawyers argued that their clients did not commit robbery but a lesser crime of cheating by impersonation.

Meanwhile, the defence for Arunachalam and Chinnaya maintained that the two were not even physically present at the time of the robbery, and that they had provided Magesan and Ansari with information about the businessmen because they believed them to be real police officers.

In Singapore, gang robbery is punishable with a prison term of five to 20 years and at least 12 cane strokes and punishment for impersonating a police officer is a jail term of up to two years, a fine, or both.

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