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Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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THIEF FLED TO MSIA IN 2003 BUT GUILT STRUCK SO RETURNS TO SURRENDER

62 y.o Haron Ismail, who was 43 at the time of the crime he committed 19 years ago, came back to Singapore to surrender for his doings in 2017 as he was apparently ‘living with the guilt’ all this while.

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He had fled to Malaysia in 2003 after committing housebreaking while his accomplices were arrested.

In Malaysia, he remained a free man for 14 years.

His crimes

Haron, together with two more accomplices, broke into offices at Yen San building in Orchard Road back in 24 Nov 2002 to steal cash.

One of his accomplice stole $20,000 from a safe while Haron acted as the driver and the other accomplice acted as a lookout.

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They escaped in a van and they split the loot amongst themselves.

On 5 Jan 2003, they committed a second crime.

This time, they went to Adelphi Building on Coleman Street where one of his accomplice broke in to an office using a chisel and stole $500 from a safe, $10,000 in foreign currencies and two gold coins worth about $2,000.

This time, Haron acted as the driver again while the other accomplice acted as a lookout.

On 29 April 2003, they reenacted their modus operandi again at Great World City where they took $127.25 and several documents.

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Fled to Malaysia

Upon knowing that his accomplices were arrested, Haron fled to Malaysia and never returned for 14 years until 3 July 2017 as he was guilt stricken and had ‘no peace of mind’ being at large.

When he returned to Woodlands Checkpoint, he was arrested but release on bail one day later.

His accomplices were already sentenced to six years jail and another for 12 years preventive detention together with 24 strokes of the cane.

Both of them have already been released as of today.

Prosecution findings

The prosecutor asked for between four years and nine months of jail to six years for Haron, with the aggravating factor being he fled and only returned to face the music after 14 years.

As Haron is above 50 and cannot be caned, the prosecutor asked for another three to six months of jail to replace the strokes of cane that he should have received.

Haron pleaded in mitigation for leniency, claiming that he came back to surrender because he did not have a peace of mind everyday while he was at large and is suffering from diabetes and heart problems now.

While waiting for his court case, he also took the initiative for a change and took up licenses in security and transport.

Penalties

Under the law in Singapore, he could have received a jail term of two to 14 years with caning for housebreaking by night to commit theft.

For housebreaking to commit theft, he could have received a jail term of up to 10 years and caned.

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He was ultimately spared caning due to his age.

Image source: Google Maps

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