Myanmar trio charged over Singapore murder plot

Myanmar trio charged over Singapore murder plot
PHOTO: Lianhe Wanbao

SINGAPORE - Three Myanmar men were charged on Wednesday with conspiring to murder a fellow national in Singapore with a gruesome collection of instruments including a chainsaw, a meat mincer, a cleaver and a chopping board.

Myanmar nationals Yae Wynnt Oaung, 32, Phyo Min Naing, 31, as well as Singapore permanent resident Zaw Min Hlaing, 37, were charged in a district court with plotting to murder another Singapore permanent resident, Aye Maung Maung Thet, 28.

A fourth suspect, 29-year-old Myanmar national Win Kyaw Kyaw Aung, left Singapore on Monday morning, police said.

The offence is punishable by up to 14 years in jail plus a fine.

The four men attempted to abduct Aye Maung Maung Thet at a suburban carpark on Sunday evening, with two of them assaulting him with a taser, an electrical device designed to stun and disable a person, court documents said.

The men fled when the victim's cries for help attracted the attention of passers-by.

They were arrested the following day, two of them at a rented seaside chalet in Singapore's eastern region.

"Items such as a meat mincer, chainsaw, kitchen knives, gas cooker, gas cylinder tank, a tool set, trolley bags, plastic sheets, cable ties, cleaver, aprons, chopping board and rubber boots were also recovered from the chalet and seized as case exhibits," the police said.

In court on Wednesday, the three men, dressed in civilian attire and handcuffed, appeared sombre as the charges were read to them in Burmese, the Myanmar national language, by an interpreter.

No pleas were entered. They were ordered remanded in police custody for one week to assist in investigations.

The case follows a spate of murder cases in neighbouring Malaysia last year involving Myanmar nationals, mostly in the northern state of Penang. In some cases, victims were decapitated or had some of their body parts severed.

Malaysian police have said they believed the attacks are related to violent clashes in Myanmar between members of the Buddhist majority and its population of Rohingya, a Muslim minority.

But the motive for the botched murder plot in Singapore has not been disclosed.

Gruesome murders are rare in Singapore, a densely populated island of 5.5 million, 40 per cent of them foreigners.

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