Two men who stripped and confined property agent get five years' jail

Choon Bok (left) and Cheng Soon being led out of the court after they admitted to a lesser charge of wrongful confinement.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

GEORGE TOWN: A coffin maker and a technician were jailed five years each by a High Court here after they admitted to a lesser charge of wrongfully confining a property agent two years ago.

Judicial Commissioner Lim Chong Fong also ordered Yeap Cheng Soon, 33, and Yeap Choon Bok, 31, to pay a total RM30,000 (S$10,035) in compensation to the female victim.

Cheng Soon and Choon Bok were told to return three gold necklaces and receipts to the victim.

Both men pleaded guilty to the alternative charge yesterday under Section 365 of the Penal Code for kidnapping or abducting with intent to secretly and wrongfully confine a person.

They were originally charged under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Act 1961 (Act 365), which carries the mandatory death sentence or life imprisonment.

According to the facts of the case by DPP Jailani Abdul Rahman, the victim, who was 49 years old then, received a call from one 'Jimmy Ooi' at about 11am on Oct 24, 2014.

The man claimed he wanted to sell a flat in Paya Terubong so the victim went to the flat at 2.30pm the same day.

She was asked to go to level five but later was told to go to level three.

She used the staircase to walk down to level three but had her face forcefully covered with a piece of cloth.

She was then pushed down the stairs and lost consciousness.

After the victim regained consciousness, she found herself naked, blindfolded and with her hands and legs tied up in a room.

The kidnappers had taken RM1,000 from her trousers and bag.

They also took an iPad from her car.

They had also used her credit cards to buy three gold necklaces costing a total of RM7,600.

The kidnappers then called the victim's husband to ask for a ransom of RM45,000 but after negotiations, agreed on RM20,000.

The woman was released after the ransom was paid.

Both accused were arrested on Oct 28, 2014, and RM5,915, jewellery, receipts and a Kancil car key were confiscated.

The victim, who appeared in court yesterday, said she was scared during the whole ordeal.

"They threatened to harm my family, especially my daughter. I am afraid they will seek revenge," she said in between tears.

DPP Jailani Abdul Rahman proposed that RM30,000 to be given as compensation to the victim and asked the court to impose a deterrent sentence.

Cheng Soon's counsel Y. Yogeswaran said his client had repented.

"He has also apologised to the victim and promised not to repeat the offence," he said.

Choon Bok's counsel Teh Han Ker also pleaded to the court for a lighter sentence during mitigation, adding that his client was sorry for his actions.

Lim ordered both accused to serve their jail sentence from the date of their arrest and requested that the RM5,915 be kept by the police until there is an appeal by the accused.

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