Shangri-La shooting: Police identify man shot dead and 2 arrested

Shangri-La shooting: Police identify man shot dead and 2 arrested
A 34-year-old Singaporean man was shot dead by police and two others were arrested in an incident near the Shangri-La Hotel where a high-level security summit was taking place.

UPDATE: The two men who were in the car that crashed through security barriers near the Shangri-La Hotel on Sunday were charged in court with heroin trafficking on Monday, reported The Straits Times. 

"Mohamed Ismail, 31, and Muhammad Syahid Mohamed Yasin, 26, were both charged with possessing three packets of approximately 9 grams of heroin for the purpose of trafficking," said the report.


 

Police identify man shot dead and 2 arrested in Shangri-La shooting

SINGAPORE - Police have identified the man who was shot dead yesterday (May 31) near Shangri-La hotel as Mohamed Taufik Azhar. 

The 34-year-old was the driver of the vehicle that crashed through police barriers around the hotel early Sunday morning where top-level security summit was taking place, the police said in a statement on Monday morning. 

The two other passengers in the car were identified as Mohamed Ismail, 31, and Muhammad Syahid Mohamed Yasin, 26. 

Mohamed Ismail sustained injuries during the incident and was conscious when he was taken to hospital. Substances believed to be controlled drugs were found on the two men arrested. However, no weapons were found on the three men. 

At 4.36 am on May 31, the three men in a Singapore-registered red Subaru Impreza had failed to stop at a security checkpoint along Ardmore Park.

Police said that the checkpoint was part of the security measures put in place to ensure vehicles and persons entering or approaching Shangri-La hotel are checked for dangerous weapons and explosives that could be used to harm persons attending the major security event. The Shangri-La Dialogue was attended by defence ministers and security chiefs from around the world.

When the subjects were asked to open the car boot, the driver accelerated the vehicle and crashed through barricades that was positioned some 250m from the venue of the Summit. According to police, he was driving "towards the police officers (and) in the direction of Shangri-La Hotel". 

"Despite repeated warnings to stop, the vehicle continued to drive dangerously across the security checkpoint and headed towards the secured venue," said the police in the statement. 

"Police opened fire at the vehicle to stop further danger," said police spokesman. 

The driver was pronounced dead at scene. The car, which had a single bullet hole in the front windscreen, came to a stop on a grass patch barely 250m from the entrance of the Shangri-La Hotel.

It was the first time is 7 years that the police have had to open fire, reported The Straits Times. The last time was an incident involving a knife-wielding man who continued to advance on an officer at Outram Park MRT station in 2008. 

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen lauded the police, saying that they had "(done) the right thing". In a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon, he said the Singapore Police Force was vigilant to the fact that the incident could have been a terrorist plot.

"If there was an improvised explosive device detected, the implications would have been very sobering and serious for Singapore," added the minister.

After the incident, some roads around the hotel were temporarily closed. Only after a bomb squad confirmed that there were no weapons or explosives in the car was the all-clear given, and traffic was allowed to resume. Orange Grove Road, Anderson Road and Ardmore Park were reopened at about 11.30am. 

Preliminary investigations indicate that this is an isolated incident that is drug-related, rather than terrorism-related.

The deceased was wanted for failing to attend court for an offence of criminal intimidation and has drug-related offences, as well as other criminal records. 

Ismail is also wanted for drug-related offences and for failing to stop at a roadblock. Both he and Muhammad Syahid Mohamed Yasin have drug-related offences and criminal records.

The two men are being investigated by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) for drug-related offences. They will be charged in court today for a drug trafficking offence. 

The Special Investigation Section of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is also investigating the death of Mohamed Taufik bin Zahar as part of the Coroner's Inquiry process. 

maryanns@sph.com.sg

 

 

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