On Wednesday (10 August), Malaysian, Ho Yueh Keong was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment for helping “One-eyed Dragon” Tan Chor Jin escaped from Singapore to Johor Bahru after committed a murder of a nightclub owner, Lim Hock Soon.
The murder took place at Block 223, Serangoon Avenue 4 where Mr Lim lived with his family on 15 February 2006 at around 6.55 am to 7.11am.
Tan broke into the flat and ordered Mr Lim to tie up his wife, maid and teenage daughter. Then he aimed his Beretta .22-calibre pistol to the victim and fired 6 shots, in which 5 of them hit Mr Lim on his left thigh, left arm, back, right cheek and right temple. He also took a knife at that time.
Prior to the murder on 14 January 2006, Tan asked Ho to drive him to Singapore from Malaysia. The two drove in a dark blue Malaysian registered Kia car. They entered Singapore through Woodlands Checkpoint at about 4.45 pm.
Tan told Ho on the way that he was going to meet Mr Lim and said that he brought the caliber gun. However, he did not say that he was going to kill the victim, although he had mentioned the intent to Ho before.
Ho then drove Tan to Block 515, Hougang Avenue 10, where they slept for a night.
On the morning that the crime happened, Ho did not drive Tan to Mr Lim’s place. Instead, Tan woke him up at Block 515, Hougang Avenue 10, and asked him to drive him back to Malaysia.
On the way back to Malaysia, Ho overheard Tan’s phone call which said that he had killed Mr Lim. He asked Tan if it was true, Tan confirmed the question and threw away the gun into the river.
They headed to Tan’s house in Larkin, Johor Bahru, through Woodland Checkpoint. After that, Ho drove Tan to Penang using Tan’s BMW, before heading back to Muar, Johor Bahru. The two then separated and Tan handed Ho RM500 (S$167).
A few days after the crime, police issued the arrest warrant against Ho. He had thought of surrendering, but Tan said he was making arrangements and so he did not have to do so. Tan also said to Ho that the police would not believe that he was innocent and he would face capital punishment.
His defence lawyer, Kertar Singh, said during the court yesterday, “He was shocked and panic-stricken … The sudden revelation stunned (Ho) and unsettled him,” the lawyer said. “His mind was in a whirl, he was unable to think straight and did not know what to do.”
Ho was in a run for almost 10 years. The Malaysian police arrested him when he tried to leave Malaysia through Batam, Indonesia. He was extradited to Singapore on 13 July 2015.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Wen Hsien said “Ho enabled (Tan) to escape by bringing him out of jurisdiction and beyond the reach of law enforcement officials. Any reasonable person in (Ho’s) position would have immediately realised that he was assisting a murderer to flee the scene. This led to an international manhunt for an armed and dangerous criminal.”
Ho then pleaded guilty and was punished for 20 months imprisonment.
Tan was arrested in a five-star hotel Grand Plaza Parkhotel Royal Kuala Lumpur in early morning on 25 February 2006. He was brought back to Singapore on 1 March 2006 escorted by 6 Singapore detectives on a Singapore Airlines flight.
Tan was a gang member of Ang Soon Tong which operated in Malaysia and Singapore. The gang has been existed since the 1950s and they are famous for doing criminal activities such as gun smuggling, drugs, illegal money lending and illegal gambling.
The High Court prosecuted Tan for murder and discharging a firearm and sentenced him to death. He was hanged on 9 January 2009.