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SINGAPORE, April 15 — The shop that was allegedly robbed on Monday (April 12) by an auxiliary police officer is a licensed moneylending outfit that was the scene of a similar crime just five months ago, court documents show.
The auxiliary police officer, who was arrested five hours after fleeing the scene, was charged yesterday.
Court documents stated that Mahadi Muhamad Mukhtar, 38, had on him a model M85 Taurus revolver when he allegedly robbed OT Credit at around 3.30pm on Monday. The shop is located at Block 135 Jurong Gateway Road.
Mahadi faces one charge of being in unlawful possession of arms or ammunition in the commission of a scheduled offence.
His alleged offence took place just about five months after OT Credit was robbed on November 19 last year by four young men, aged between 19 and 26, who took about S$48,000 (RM148,312).
Mahadi, an employee from security firm Aetos, is believed to have acted alone during the latest robbery, in which he took cash amounting to more than S$24,000.
However, the police said their investigations showed that he deposited part of the stolen cash into the bank account of a friend, 34-year-old Nur Shana Mohd Taib, who was charged on Wednesday as well.
She faces one charge of dishonestly retaining part of the stolen cash — S$10,000 — between 3.30pm and 4.22pm on Monday.
Mahadi had also transferred part of his loot to a few bank accounts to repay his debts to unlicensed moneylenders.
If convicted of being in unlawful possession of arms or ammunition in the commission of a scheduled offence, Mahadi could face life imprisonment and no fewer than six strokes of the cane.
If convicted of dishonestly receiving stolen property, Shana could be jailed for up to five years or fined, or both.
Worry about being targeted
When TODAY visited OT Credit yesterday afternoon, a team of police officers in civilian clothes were chatting with the moneylender’s staff members about safety precautions in case such an incident were to happen again.
The location, which was next to JCube mall in Jurong East and near the Central Provident Fund Board’s Jurong Service Centre, had high pedestrian traffic at about 4pm, which was around the time the robbery allegedly took place on Monday.
Besides hairdressing salons and optical shops, the area is the site of several moneylending outfits such as OT Credit as well as other financial institutions, including remittance agencies, moneychangers, pawn shops and at least seven banks.
The employees of OT Credit declined to be interviewed, stating that they have been advised by the police not to give out details to avoid prejudicing the ongoing court case.
Speaking to TODAY, shopkeepers of neighbouring units said that they did not know why the shop was targeted twice in a few months, and were worried that they could be targeted as well even though there were many closed circuit television cameras in the area.
Sumaiya Sultana, a customer service officer who works at remittance firm NBL Money Transfer, noted that her workplace could have been the one that was robbed in both cases. NBL is located next to OT Credit.
Sultana and other front-desk workers of neighbouring financial outlets and jewellery shops told TODAY that there are procedures on how to act should they encounter a robbery, and there are hidden devices to call for help.
The 29-year-old said: “Even then, I still don’t know what I would do if someone says they have a gun.”
Last November, it was she and her colleague who had heard cries of help from their neighbour and had freed a frightened OT Credit employee who was trapped in a room by the robbers.
“The last time, there was a lot of screaming and so, we were able to rescue her. This time (during Monday’s robbery), there was no noise, I didn’t even know that something had happened until the police came,” Sultana said. ― TODAY