Men in ski masks rob money changer of $600,000

Men in ski masks rob money changer of $600,000

The money changer had parked his Hyundai saloon car in a handicap lot while waiting for someone to pick up his sleeping three-year-old son.

A car soon pulled up in front of him and three men in ski masks jumped out.

After a struggle with the money changer, they robbed him of more than $600,000 in cash that he had in his car boot.

The ordeal began at almost 1am yesterday. The money changer, identified by Shin Min Daily News only as Mr Ali, was waiting at Block 110 Aljunied Crescent with his son in the back seat.

A champagne-coloured Proton pulled up perpendicular to his car with five men wearing ski masks in it.

One acted as a lookout, while two others broke the driver's window with a metal rod. The other two men stayed in the car.

A neighbour who saw the incident said he was playing mahjong with some friends when he heard a commotion.

Mr Kelvin Ong, 36, recounted: "The men tried to pull him out of his car, but he refused to get out. Even his shirt came off during the struggle."

The two robbers eventually forced open the door and opened the car boot.

They took two bags from the boot, jumped back into their car and sped off.

The drama lasted almost five minutes.

OLD CAR MODEL

Mr Ong recounted: "I kept shouting at the man to look at the robbers' car licence plate.

"As they were driving off, I could see the number too. It was a very old model of the car and you'd hardly see something like that in Singapore now."

He added that the car had Singapore licence plates. Mr Ong called the police and rushed down to make sure Mr Ali was all right.

"It was there that I found out he was a money changer and he had been robbed of nearly $600,000," Mr Ong said.

Mr Ali told him the men had spoken in Tamil and one of them had referred to another as "Ravi".

"He said he usually picks up his money from the Changi Airport Arrival Hall and that this was his usual route," Mr Ong added.

Attempts to reach Mr Ali were unsuccessful.

When The New Paper visited his flat yesterday, about five women answered and said he was not around. Asked if they were related to him, the women declined to speak.

Chinese evening newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported that Mr Ali ran currency exchange outlets in Changi Airport and was transporting the more than $600,000 of cash home.

The stolen cash included Singapore and US dollar bills and currency from four Middle Eastern countries. Mr Ali suffered cuts on his hands from the broken glass, Shin Min reported.

A police spokesman said they received a call for assistance at 12.53am, and confirmed that a robbery with hurt had taken place.


This article was first published on November 6, 2014.
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