Lost his pants? Police carry out 5-hour manhunt for underwear-clad man spotted in Hillview drain

Lost his pants? Police carry out 5-hour manhunt for underwear-clad man spotted in Hillview drain
A man clad in only his underwear was spotted rummaging through a luggage inside this drain in Hillview.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

[UPDATE 6:05pm]

Responding to AsiaOne’s queries, the police confirmed that they received a call for assistance at 51 Hume Avenue on Thursday morning.

A member of the public spotted a suspicious person under a covered drain at the footpath along Hume Avenue.

With the help of PUB, police officers found discarded items such as a luggage, clothing, fashion accessories, and kitchenware inside the drain along with 20 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

They said the person left the area before they were able to access the drainage system.

The case has since been referred to Singapore Customs.

Police are still trying to establish the identity of the person.

The police conducted a five-hour search for a man who was spotted rummaging through a piece of luggage in a drain at Hillview on Thursday (May 25) morning. 

Victor Ilano, 50, told Today that he was out for his morning walk at about 6.30am when he spotted a light shining out of a hole in one of the drain hole covers

The Hume Avenue resident said: "That was when I realised there was a man inside, shining what seems to be his phone at a luggage."

Although he took a video of the man, he did not think to call the police at first as he assumed the latter was a repairman. However, he later noticed that the man was only wearing his underwear. 

Ilano also approached another jogger to confirm if he had also spotted the strange man in the drain. 

The jogger then urged Ilano to call the police. 

"Two police officers then came by around 6.50am or 7am, and they seemed surprised that there really was a man in the drain. They then asked people to stay away before calling for back-up."

When reporters from Today went down the scene at 9.15am, eight police vehicles were parked along the road. Police were also directing passers-by away.

There were also seven Gurkha police officers as well some officers from the Public Utilities Board (PUB) at the scene. 

Between 11.50am and 12.10pm, some waste management workers were seen removing two chairs, a mattress, a black luggage item, and a brown bag from the drain. 

Police officers were inspecting the items and packing them into trash bags. 

They left the scene at about 12.30pm. It is not known if they managed to locate the man.

Another resident, surnamed Tan, told Shin Min Daily News he saw police cordoning off the area. They also stopped members of the public from taking pictures.

"This area has always been quiet, and I've never seen strangers wandering about," said the 52-year-old. 

Other residents who spoke to the Chinese daily said that the police also pried open the drain cover to investigate. 

AsiaOne has contacted the police for more information. 

Offence to enter drains without permission

In 2020, The Straits Times reported that the PUB had received feedback from four sources about people entering drains without permission

Responding to The Straits Times' queries, the PUB said that members of the public are not allowed to enter drains at all times for their personal safety. 

"Heavy rainfall in upstream locations will cause sudden and rapid water flow, posing a serious danger to anyone in the drains," said the board. 

They added that anybody who enters the waterways without approval can be fined up to $3,000.

READ ALSO: Missing man with dementia found dead in Hougang drain 3 days later


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