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Judicial CP - April 2009

Corpun file 21409


The New Paper, Singapore, 12 April 2009

He poses as cop to prey on women

By Andre Yeo

ELEVEN years ago, on National Day, he ignored his own safety and chased after a molester.

His call to the police helped them arrest the man who was later sentenced to jail.

Today, that same hero sits in a prison cell - a fallen angel.

Iskandar Abdul Rahim was 23 when this picture was taken in 1998 after he had helped an elderly woman who was molested by a stranger. Now aged 34, he was sent to 8 years of preventive detention and given 9 strokes of the cane for being a serial molester.

Ironically, Iskandar Abdul Rahim, now 34, was convicted last June of the very same crime he had acted against in 1998.

It turned out that he had been a serial sexual predator since 2000, often impersonating a police officer to prey on teenage girls.

And even after Iskandar was caught and jailed, he went back to his criminal ways once he was released.

As a recalcitrant offender, he is now in eight years of preventive detention and still has a rape charge pending.

Back in 1998, life could not have been more different for Iskandar. Then 23 and working as a project manager for an interior design company, he was hailed for his public-spiritedness in helping to nab a molester.

He had seen a man molesting a 79-year-old woman at the void deck of her block at 3am on 9Aug that year, The Straits Times reported.

The man, a 36-year-old odd-job labourer, was arrested and jailed for 15 months and caned six times, in November 1998.

Just months after his heroic deed, Iskandar's downward spiral began.

He was convicted of impersonating a police officer in March 1999 and August 2000 and was fined a total of $3,800.

He was also convicted in August 2000 of criminal intimidation and cheating and fined a total of $7,000.

Then in June 2000, his sex crimes came to light when he attacked two 18-year-old girls in the space of two hours.

Details of Iskandar's crimes were in District Judge Wong Choon Ning's grounds of decision released in January this year on why the molester was sentenced to eight years' preventive detention for crimes committed in 2005 and 2006.

Preventive detention means he is not eligible for early release.

On 23 Jun 2000, Iskandar's first victim was walking to a bus-stop after 1am, after being with friends at a billiards hall, when Iskandar drove up in his car.

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He invited her for a drink, and she went along. He told her he was a police officer at Tanglin Police Station from the 'murder department', and flashed a card with a police logo.

He later drove her to a park where he climbed on top of her and tried to remove her clothes, while kissing her on her face.

The stunned girl screamed and struggled violently, slapping and biting him on the shoulder as he molested her.

He finally stopped and took her home, claiming he had recorded all their conversations that night.

Another victim

Less than two hours later, around 3am, he spotted another 18-year-old girl walking home and followed her into a lift at her block.

He again flashed his 'police' card and told her to follow him to his car.

After driving to a park, he claimed he needed to check her body for tattoos and told her to unbutton her blouse.

She reluctantly complied and he molested her by brushing his hand against her breast. But she managed to escape and fled in a taxi.

Iskandar was later arrested and jailed for a total of three years and seven months and given a total of seven strokes of the cane for the offences.

He was released in 2003.

Then, on 2 Apr, 2005, he struck again by preying on a drunk 18-year-old student.

She was at a club in the Mohammed Sultan Road area when she passed out from drinking too much.

Her friends took her to a couch outside the club. They gradually went back in, leaving two men to look after her.

Iskandar, then a manager at a food court, was loitering around and saw them.

After one of the men went to the toilet, the girl threw up. Iskandar went up and claimed to be the girl's friend.

He told the other man to get tissue paper to clean her up and the latter left.

Iskandar immediately picked up the girl and left.

When both men returned two minutes later, they were horrified to find her missing.

By then, Iskandar had dumped the girl at the back of his car, which was parked at the back of the building, and driven off.

But, some passers-by had seen him carrying the girl and running to his car. One of them became suspicious and memorised his car's licence plate number.

When he saw the two friends looking for the girl, he told them what he had seen and one of them called the police.

After parking at a quiet spot, Iskandar told the drunk girl, 'I am your friend', when she asked who he was. He then forcibly removed her pants and molested her.

A policeman, who had been on the lookout for Iskandar's car, eventually stopped the car at 3.50am and found her unconscious in the front passenger seat.

When she did not respond, he called for an ambulance. Iskandar's semen was later found on her underwear and belt.

Iskandar struck again on 7 July, 2006, when he forcibly kissed a 22-year-old woman near Bishan Park.

Tricked into stripping

Two months later, he impersonated a Central Narcotics Bureau officer and tricked a young woman into stripping in his car on the pretext of searching for drugs.

In November that year, he stole an $11,600 Rolex watch from a drunk man who had just left a disco.

When he was taken to court, Iskandar claimed trial. He was convicted on 27 Jun last year.

District Judge Wong sentenced him to eight years of preventive detention and nine strokes of the cane.

His appeal against the sentence is pending.

He has also been slapped with a fresh charge of raping a woman in the Sin Ming area on 10 Feb 2008. This case is still pending.

A medical report on Iskandar stated that he has a financially-secure and supportive family, but he had a problem with alcohol use.

In mitigation, his lawyer told the court that Iskandar was remorseful and pleaded for leniency as his wife of five years was expecting their first child.

His act of bravery in 1998 was also brought up as a mitigating factor.

When he was asked in an interview then why he wanted to help people, his reply was: 'I help people because I hope that when I'm in trouble, others will come and help me.'

'A menace to society'

HE'S a repeat offender and a sexual predator whom the public must be protected from.

This was deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Ng Cheng Thiam's argument when he called for preventive detention for Iskandar Abdul Rahim.

In his grounds of decision, District Judge Wong Choon Ning noted that Mr Ng had highlighted how Iskandar's modus operandi in 2000 and in his latest offences were similar.

His crimes were of a sexual nature, most of his victims were about 18 years old, and he would pretend to be a law enforcement officer.

He would lure his victims into his car with fake promises or false representations and drive them to a secluded area late at night where they would have little chance of getting help.

Mr Wong said the prosecution had noted the way in which the unrepentant and 'cunning' sex predator had planned his attacks showed he was 'a menace to society who could not be trusted'.

Iskandar had first been represented by Mr John Abraham, then Ms Gloria James.

Judge Wong agreed that Iskandar was a dangerous man and said that for the protection of the public, he had to be kept away for a substantial period of time.

Corpun file 21274


The Straits Times, 15 April 2009

25 years' jail for 'agent of destruction'

Trafficker's claim that he was pawn of drug cartel cuts no ice with judge

By Khushwant Singh

Justice Lee Sieu Kin called Khairul Anwar Zaini 'an agent of destruction' before sentencing him to 25 years in jail and 20 strokes of the cane. --PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

A DRUG trafficker who painted himself as a pawn of "a sophisticated and complex drug-smuggling syndicate" received scant sympathy from the High Court yesterday.

Khairul Anwar Zaini, 42, declared by Justice Lee Sieu Kin to be "an agent of destruction", was sentenced to 25 years in jail and 20 strokes of the cane.

He was at first staring at the hangman's noose, as the amount of heroin in the 2.5kg stash of drug-laced powder weighed in at 16.53g -- more than the 15g that makes a death sentence mandatory upon conviction.

But the amount was reduced to 14.99g by the prosecution. No reason was given.

The construction worker also pleaded guilty to a second charge of trafficking in 6.43g of heroin in a separate shipment.

Four other charges for trafficking in drugs such as Ice and Subutex were considered by the judge when imposing the sentence.

Khairul Anwar also admitted to packing the drugs for sale, a task for which he was paid $4,400 for each kilogram handled.

The High Court heard that businessman Abdul Salam Musthafa allegedly ordered the heroin from a Malaysian supplier, then appointed one Maryati Sipon, 27, to go to Johor Bahru on Dec 31, 2007 to make the payment of $30,500.

When the supplier, known only as Boy Cino, received the money, he got a woman named Jamaliah Yacab, 24, to bring the goods into Singapore.

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Central Narcotics Bureau officers trailed Jamaliah, who was carrying the heroin in a box of detergent, together with other household items, from the Woodlands Checkpoint to Block 19 Telok Blangah Crescent, where she passed the heroin to Khairul Anwar.

She was then arrested.

Khairul Anwar fled, dropping the bags, but was caught nearby.

His lawyer, asking for the minimum sentence of 20 years, said his client had stayed "clean" since 2002, when he completed a prison term for a previous drug conviction.

But Khairul Anwar was having difficulty supporting his two ex-wives, four children, his present girlfriend and her three children on his monthly salary of $1,000, added his lawyer. So he agreed to be a trafficker, but on an understanding with Boy Cino that the amounts of the drug would be small.

Justice Lee, noting that Khairul Anwar had missed the threshold for capital punishment by the skin of his teeth, said he had given into to the lure of easy money and had become an agent of destruction: "You have destroyed lives and also exposed your own children to drugs."

Khairul Anwar's brother and two sisters were seen weeping in court. One of the sisters said: "We are sad he is to be jailed for such a long time but are thankful he was spared the death sentence."

Jamaliah and Maryati pleaded guilty to drug trafficking on Monday and will be sentenced in two weeks' time.

Abdul Salam goes on trial tomorrow.

Corpun file 21290


The Straits Times, Singapore, 25 April 2009

Serial sex predator jailed for 32 years

Judge sentences him to 24 strokes as well; his victims were children

Be Selina Lum

From 2007 to last July, Huang assaulted nine young girls aged between nine and 14.

FOR 16 months, a full-time national serviceman trailed girls aged as young as nine into lifts, threatened them with a penknife, then forced them to secluded spots where he sexually assaulted them.

Yesterday, Huang Shiyou, 22, paid the price for his crime spree around his Tampines neighbourhood between April 2007 and July last year: 32 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane.

He had pleaded guilty to five charges -- for aggravated molest, sexual assault and attempted rape -- involving two of his nine victims, a nine-year-old primary school pupil and a 14-year-old secondary school student.

Yesterday, his lawyer, Mr Chia Kok Seng, acknowledged the severity of the offences, but pleaded for leniency. He portrayed his client as a good person who crumbled under depression from a failed relationship and had problems adjusting to life in the army.

But Justice Chan Seng Onn was unmoved, and said a long deterrent sentence was justified to protect the public against serial sex offenders.

Said the judge: "Words cannot sufficiently describe the extent of the trauma, suffering and distress that you have caused to the very young victims of the horrendous sexual crimes."

Justice Chan agreed with Deputy Public Prosecutor Shahla Iqbal that Huang had deliberately and systematically targeted young victims and used a penknife to frighten them into submission.

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In passing sentence, the judge took into consideration nine other charges involving seven other victims aged nine to 13.

Huang, who has no criminal history, stared blankly into space when he heard his sentence. With two-thirds remission for good behaviour, he will be in jail until he is 43.

His first four victims were molested while they were in a lift with him.

He made some other victims follow him to staircase landings, where he groped them, forced them to perform oral sex on him and tried to rape them.

His ninth and final victim was an 11-year-old whom he threatened to harm with a penknife if she did not follow his instructions.

She managed to escape being violated -- the court was not told how -- and made a police report.

Based on her description of her assailant, officers searched the vicinity of the crime scene and arrested Huang, who was carrying a sling bag containing a penknife and a cap, that same day.

A government psychiatrist said Huang had a chronic adjustment disorder with depressed moods.

Yesterday, Mr Chia said: "He is a fundamentally good person who can be rehabilitated and contribute to society upon his release from prison."

He said his client never recovered from a failed relationship with his first girlfriend when he was 17. The romance had affected his schoolwork and strained his relationship with his family.

Unable to deal with the emotional blow when she dumped him, Huang attempted suicide several times.

During his days as a corporal in national service, Mr Chia said, Huang had to work very long hours with very little rest.

Said Mr Chia: "Shiyou did his best and no one suspected he was having emotional and family problems. He quietly dealt with depression alone."

But, the DPP shot back, "in life, we go through periods of depression, but we do not embark on a crime spree of 16 months".

Huang, she said, had repeatedly terrorised young victims taking lifts on their way home. Also, the police had to expend considerable resources to bring him to justice.

blob Follow-up: 10 November 2009 - Molester's plea against 32-year jail, 24 strokes of the cane dismissed

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