Man pays heavy price for returning a favour

A security manager took part in an elaborate staged robbery to return a favour to a friend who had given him tips at the races.

But it was a gamble too far for 27-year-old Suthagar Rajamoney, who was jailed for a year yesterday after he admitted intentionally aiding the Jan 29 operation.

Fellow Malaysian Abdul Wahid Zainudin, 32, had allegedly masterminded a plot to steal $500,000 from JBS Global, a Malaysia-based moneychanger.

He roped in one of its delivery drivers, Suleiman Latiff, 28, who was tasked with travelling to Singapore to collect cash from another JBS staff member and deliver it to moneychangers here.

Suleiman rode his motorbike to Woodlands Town Centre, where he was handed RM800,000 (S$312,000) and $200,000 in cash. As agreed in the plan, he went to look for Wahid and his accomplices, who were waiting in a black car and a motorbike on the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE).

The court heard that he handed the money to Wahid, who then used a knife to cut Suleiman's body and make it appear as if he had been attacked.

After the men went their separate ways, Suleiman called the same staff member who had handed him the cash to say he had been robbed.

The money has not been recovered.

Suthagar's role in the operation was to give Wahid a ride on his motorbike from Woodlands to the BKE, and from the BKE to a bus stop in Woodlands.

His lawyer M.P. Rai said he did it to return a favour to Wahid, who had given him tips at the Ipoh races.

Wahid remains at large but Suleiman's case is pending.

Suthagar could have been jailed for up to seven years and/or fined.

This article was first published on Sept 27, 2014.
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