Kovan murders: Victim met suspect over safe deposit box

SINGAPORE - Police Senior Staff Sergeant Iskandar Rahmat and the 67-year-old man he allegedly murdered appear to have had one thing in common - a safe deposit box which could be central to the case.

Last November, Mr Tan Boon Sin (above in photo) reported a theft from his box at the Certis Cisco building at Paya Lebar.

This was not unusual at the time as there had been a string of customers who reported that items such as gold coins and jewellery were missing from their safe boxes in the same building.

The claims were later found to be unsubstantiated, although news reports on the "thefts" alarmed some customers, who rushed to the building to check their boxes.

Certis Cisco said last year that such mistakes were common because some customers forget where they place their valuables or do not check their safe deposit box thoroughly.

In Mr Tan's case, the alleged theft from his box led him to Iskandar, who was the investigating officer in charge of the case.

The case was eventually passed on to another officer already working on similar cases of theft from safe deposit boxes.

Whether Iskandar and Mr Tan kept in touch after that is unclear.

Yet, the safe deposit box was revisited again on Wednesday, when Mr Tan accessed it just an hour or two before his death.

He reportedly withdrew "bags of items" - including important documents and valuables.

Witnesses said three plastic bags were found in Mr Tan's car when it was spotted in Eunos a day after the murders.

On Friday, police investigators were seen entering the building where the safe boxes were stored, and it is understood they were there to trawl through closed-circuit TV camera footage.

A Certis Cisco spokesman confirmed on Satrday that Mr Tan was a client. They declined to comment further, citing ongoing police investigations.

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