'One-eyed Dragon' accomplice pleads guilty

A man who helped one of Singapore's most notorious gangsters flee the country after a gangland-style shooting of a nightclub owner was yesterday found guilty - a decade after the crime.

On Feb 15, 2006, Tan Chor Jin, dubbed the "One-eyed Dragon" as he was blind in one eye, sparked an international manhunt after he repeatedly shot Mr Lim Hock Soon in his Serangoon Avenue 4 flat.

Malaysian Ho Yueh Keong, who had fetched Tan from the Woodlands Checkpoint the day before the shooting, took him back the same way about an hour after the killing.

Tan was nabbed 10 days later in a Kuala Lumpur hotel. He was found guilty of discharging a firearm and hanged in 2009 at the age of 42.

But Ho remained at large for nine years and was caught only when he tried to leave Malaysia for Batam. He was extradited in July last year.

Yesterday, Ho, now 43, stood upright in the dock and listened intently to a Mandarin interpreter as Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Wen Hsien read out the facts of the case before District Judge Tan Jen Tse.

Handcuffed, shackled and wearing prison attire - a white T-shirt and brown trousers - he pleaded guilty to one charge of harbouring a fugitive. Another count of concealing information about the murder will be considered when he is sentenced tomorrow.

Tan, better known as Tony Kia to his associates, was part of the Ang Soon Tong gang which operated in both Malaysia and Singapore. It was notorious for gun-smuggling, drugs, illegal moneylending and illegal gambling. Tan often hired Ho, also known as "Moh Tang", to drive him from Malaysia to Singapore. Ho would be paid $50 to $100.

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In late 2005, Tan bought a Beretta pistol. He told Ho in January 2006 that he wanted to kill Mr Lim.

On Feb 14, 2006, Tan asked Ho to drive him from Malaysia to Singapore in a Malaysian-registered dark blue Kia car. Tan said he might meet Mr Lim, but did not say why. They spent the night in a flat at Block 515 in Hougang.

The next day, Tan fired six rounds from his pistol into Mr Lim at his flat at about 7am, after he had made Mr Lim tie up his wife, maid and teenage daughter. Five bullets hit Mr Lim. Tan then returned to Hougang, woke Ho up and asked him to drive him back to Malaysia.

While in the car, Tan told someone over the phone that he had killed Mr Lim. Ho asked Tan if he really did so. Tan admitted to the murder and said he threw the pistol into a river.

Ho drove Tan into Malaysia at about 8.20am and they headed for Ho's home in Larkin, Johor Baru. He later drove Tan to Penang in the latter's BMW before they headed back to Muar in Johor. Tan gave him RM500 before they separated.

A few days later, Ho called Tan to say he wished to surrender, but Tan told him not to do so and he obeyed.

For harbouring a person who committed a crime punishable with death, Ho faces up to five years' jail and a fine.

The maximum penalty for not giving information about a crime is six months' jail and a fine.

This article was first published on Aug 9, 2016.
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