The extradition of 50-year-old Singaporean Mohan Rajangam to Malaysia was done within the legal framework established in Singapore’s legislation, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
SPF said on Fri afternoon (17 Jan) that the transfer of Mr Mohan’s custody to the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) reflects “a longstanding reciprocal arrangement” with Malaysia for both countries “mutually recognise and execute Warrants of Arrests within our respective jurisdictions”, exercised by the Republic under Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
“Between 2016 and 2019, Singapore sought assistance from the Malaysian law enforcement authorities to arrest more than 55 fugitives under the Section 121 CPC reciprocal arrangement, all of which were met.
“The fugitives were involved in serious crimes such as murder, housebreaking, and commercial crimes that had caused substantial financial losses amounting to more than S$120 million.
“Reciprocally, Singapore law enforcement authorities arrested and transferred custody to Malaysian authorities, more than 25 fugitives in Singapore wanted by the Malaysians during this period,” Police elaborated.
Mr Mohan’s arrest based on findings linking him to M’sian organised crime gang: SPF
Commenting on the details of Mr Mohan’s arrest in Singapore on 21 Mar 2015, SPF said that the arrest was made based on findings from its follow-up investigations demonstrating that Mr Mohan “was in regular contact with these Malaysian gang members”.
“On 21 March 2015, RMP informed SPF that its officers had engaged in a shootout with members of the gang Mohan was associated with, leading to the death of two gang members, one of whom was known to be in contact with Mohan.
“Following this, RMP initiated an operation against members of this gang. Three persons, including a senior gang leader, were arrested by RMP in a residential unit in Johor Bahru. That unit was rented by Mohan,” according to SPF.
RMP had then contacted SPF for assistance in tracing and arresting Mr Mohan as he was suspected of being involved in “the gang’s drug activities and harbouring members of this gang”, according to SPF.
SPF stressed that Mr Mohan was informed of the suspected offences against him during his arrest, contrary to his claim that the police officers had arrested him without stating any grounds for doing so.
“His residence in Singapore was searched in accordance with the investigative powers for an arrestable offence provided under Section 24 of the Misuse of Drugs Act,” Police added, in response to Mr Mohan’s claim that his residence in Hougang was searched without any warrant.
Countering Mr Mohan’s allegation that his family was not informed regarding his arrest and subsequent whereabouts after 48 hours from the time he was arrested, SPF said that Mr Mohan’s wife, mother and sister were present when the Police raided his residence on the day of his arrest.
Police added that its officers had contacted Mr Mohan’s brother on 23 Mar 2015 — the same day Mr Mohan’s custody was transferred to RMP — and had furnished Mr Mohan’s brother with the relevant RMP investigation officer’s contact details.
SPF also said that Mr Mohan was detained for a period not longer than 48 hours in accordance with s.68 CPC, from the time of his arrest until he was produced in the Singapore State Courts on 23 Mar 2015.
A Warrant of Arrest, SPF claimed, was issued by a Malaysian Court against Mr Mohan on 23 Mar 2015, based on the RMP’s findings linking the aforementioned gang to a murder that took place in George Town, Penang on 2 Mar the same year.
Said Warrant of Arrest was “endorsed by a Magistrate in Singapore” pursuant to s.121 CPC, according to SPF, and was executed the same day, which led to Mr Mohan being produced in the State Courts in Singapore.
The State Courts Magistrate then ordered Mr Mohan to be transferred to the Malaysian Court, which marked the beginning of his extradition to Malaysia and the transfer of his custody from SPF, Police added.
SPF noted that its Malaysian counterparts decided to “take no further action” against Mr Mohan after its investigations, and that the RMP had released him on 15 Jul 2015.
No charge read in Penang due to insufficient evidence; all investigations could have been held in S’pore without extradition to M’sia: Mohan Rajangam
Mr Mohan, in his recent interview with TOC, rehashed his traumatic experience of being left in Malaysia for four months, allegedly without any follow up from either the SPF or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He was forced to resort to buying his own flight ticket back to Singapore after his release from the custody of the Malaysian police, and was made to pay a fine for purportedly overstaying in Malaysia.
Mr Mohan’s harrowing ordeal began with him being “ambushed” by around 20 police officers who alighted a van in front of his then-workplace at Madras Street, upon which he had immediately produced his NRIC to one of the officers.
“They brought me to my workplace and went up to the third floor to check everything … They came down and cuffed me, [and] brought me to my car,” said Mr Mohan, noting that the police officers had done so without stating any grounds for his arrest, and without any warrant to search his residence in Hougang.
He added that while the Police did not find any illegal items in his home, at his workplace or in his car, his passport was seized by the police when they had raided his car.
Mr Mohan previously told TOC that the investigating officer (IO) at Cantonment Police Station after his arrest had only “roughly briefed” him and asked him regarding his whereabouts and activities on the night the murder had taken place “without taking any statement in the laptop”.
“No person is judged as a criminal until proven guilty. The Police branded me and treated me like a criminal even before any form of evidence to prove that I was involved in a crime that took place in Penang,” said Mr Mohan.
“There was no evidence against me, but the police did not want to release me,” he said, noting that Malaysia’s Ministry of Home Affairs interviewed him and wrote a report at the end of the fourth month he was in Penang, stating that he was not involved in the murder case as his passport revealed that he did not go to Penang for eight months.
According to Mr Mohan, the Malaysian Police had sought his assistance because he was acquainted with one of the suspects over a decade ago. Furthermore, he bears a resemblance to the key suspect of the murder charge.
By the time he was presented in the Penang court, however, the suspect had confessed to the crime.
When asked if he was charged in the Penang court, he said: “They didn’t read any charge in Penang.”
“The police did not screen my passport for all entries and exits from Singapore to Malaysia. The CNB and SSB could not find any criminal records on me after screening.
“Therefore, Singapore should not have handed me to the Malaysian authorities if I have no criminal records,” according to Mr Mohan, adding that his passport did not reveal that he was in Malaysia at the time the murder took place.
“There was no concrete evidence against me that required me to leave Singapore’s custody and be sent to another country,” he added. “In any event, all investigations could have been held in Singapore without handing me over.”
“Due to the poor government system, I was wrongly judged, sent away from my family, and homeland to be interrogated by another Government … There was no help or any form of assistance from my Government,” Mr Mohan lamented.
“They should investigate me first … If they can tell the date and time I did the murder, why didn’t they check the passport?” he charged.
When asked as to whether SPF had given him any explanation behind sending him over to their Malaysian counterparts without investigating his claim that he was not present at the crime scene at the time of the murder, Mr Mohan replied that “nobody” had given him such an explanation.
SPF’s statement today (17 Jan) did not dispute Mr Mohan’s account as reported thus far, and no POFMA correction order has been served on TOC‘s reports pertaining to Mr Mohan’s testimonies.
High Court to hear Mr Mohan’s criminal revision application on 3 Apr
Mr Mohan has filed on 10 Jan an application to the Singapore High Court for a criminal revision.
He will be represented by human rights lawyer M Ravi of Carson Law Chambers in a bid to obtain and examine the records — including the alleged charge sheet — pertaining to his extradition to Penang “to satisfy itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety” of the proceedings, according to a petition seen by TOC the same day.
Carson Law Chambers in a statement on Thu (16 Jan) said that Mr Mohan is “seeking the court to call for his records in the State Court to examine the legality of the State Court’s order to surrender Mohan to the Malaysian police”.
“Mohan has maintained in public that he was surrendered wrongly on a murder charge,” the statement read.
According to s.401(1) of the CPC, the High Court has the authority to direct the lower court to make further inquiry into a complaint which has been dismissed under section 152 or into the case of an accused who has been discharged.
The High Court will hear Mr Mohan’s criminal revision application on 3 Apr at 10 am.