SINGAPORE: A 38-year-old AETOS auxiliary police officer was charged with armed robbery on Wednesday (Apr 14). He faces life imprisonment and at least six strokes of the cane.
Mahadi Muhamad Mukhtar, 38, is accused of committing armed robbery on Monday afternoon at OT Credit moneylender at Block 135, Jurong Gateway Road near Jurong East MRT, while carrying an M85 Taurus revolver.
He fled the scene but was arrested on the same day.
According to the Singapore Police Force earlier on Wednesday, the on-duty officer allegedly walked into the moneylender with a gun and showed a staff member a note that read: “This is a robbery, don’t shout. I got gun in my pocket. Put all the money in the bag.”
After the employee handed over cash amounting to more than S$24,000, Mahadi fled the scene. The police were alerted to the case at about 3.55pm and arrested him within five hours.
They identified him as an AETOS auxiliary police officer based on footage from police and the shop's CCTV cameras, as well as help from other AETOS staff members.
Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police How Kwang Hwee, the director of the Criminal Investigation Department, added that the arrest was made without any harm caused to the public, “given the risk that the robber was allegedly carrying a firearm”.
Before the incident on Monday, Mahadi reported to work at the company’s headquarters and drew his firearm prior to his deployment.
He then changed out of his uniform, left the premises with his firearm without authorisation and allegedly committed the crime, before reporting back to the headquarters to change back into his uniform and taking the company’s van to his deployment location, the police said.
Investigations revealed that he allegedly deposited part of the stolen cash into the bank account of a friend, a 34-year-old woman.
He also transferred the money to a few bank accounts to repay his debts to unlicensed moneylenders, the police said.
The woman, who also allegedly facilitated the transfer of the stolen cash, was arrested for dishonestly receiving stolen property.
Nur Shana Mohd Taib, 34, was charged on Wednesday afternoon with dishonestly retaining a sum of S$10,000 despite knowing that it was stolen property between 3.30pm and 4.22pm on Monday.
The court granted the prosecution's application to remand her for a week with permission to take her out for investigations, including for a scene revisit and to seize exhibits.
If convicted of knowingly receiving stolen property, she can be jailed for up to five years, fined, or both.
The police have also arrested eight other people, aged between 16 and 48, for the same offence in connection to this case.
About S$17,500 of the stolen cash has been recovered by the police, while efforts are under way to recover the rest of it.
Police investigations are ongoing.
AETOS said in a statement on Wednesday that it has "zero tolerance" for any form of criminal conduct by any of its employees, especially the unlawful use of firearms.
"We impose stringent regulations, safeguards and a strict code of conduct on all auxiliary police officers to ensure that they are fit for duty and to carry firearms," said AETOS.
"AETOS is extending its fullest cooperation to the authorities in their investigation."