Suspect in Budget Terminal taxi hijack charged

UPDATED on Monday 19 March, 11:00am

A 30-year-old Chinese national has been charged with voluntarily causing hurt in committing a robbery after he allegedly hijacked a taxi and killed a 34-year-old cleaner.

Police said the charge was read to him at the Changi General Hospital (CGH), where he is warded.

If convicted, the suspect can be sentenced to between five and 20 years in jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane.

Investigations into the death allegedly caused by the suspect are ongoing and more charges are expected to be tendered against him for that, police added.

A cleaner was instantly killed when he was hit by a hijacked taxi driven by a passenger at the Budget Terminal on Saturday morning.

According to Channel NewsAsia, the cleaner was a Malaysian named Chandra Mogan who was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at 7:13am. His family lives in Johor and he is survived by four children.

Police have arrested the driver of the Citicab taxi, who is believed to have taken over the wheel after an argument with the original taxi driver.

Witnesses said the suspect, believed to be a technician, tried to flee the scene after the crash but was stopped by the public, reported CNA. The Sunday Times said he was later arrested by police inside the terminal area.

The force of the crash along the Budget Terminal driveway smashed the glass entrance next to a McDonald's restaurant.

What caused hijack?

According to The Sunday Times, cab driver, Yeow Chuwee Lam, 57 said he picked up his passenger at Still Road in the Katong area.

His passenger was in an upbeat mood as he was returning home to China to see his family. However,  halfway through the journey, he seemed to snap and repeatedly accused Yeow of “hiding his belongings”.

When Yeow denied taking any belongings, his passenger turned violent and began assaulting him on the neck and ear.  

That's when Yeow stopped the cab, activated the distress button and tried to get out of the cab. He was then pushed out onto the road. His passenger also exited the taxi, continued to attack Yeow before getting back into the taxi and driving off.

Yeow suffered superficial wounds and was taken to CGH for medical treatment after police arrived at the scene.

The Chinese national was arrested but was admitted to CGH for cuts on his head.

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