SINGAPORE — He met an elderly man who relied on financial assistance due to a stroke, and decided to rob the ailing man.
Mohd Azizam Mohd Ayup, 35, began telling the 75-year-old victim tales about a sham organisation called “Baitulmal” which purportedly provided food and financial assistance to the needy, in order to get the victim to invite him to his home.
When he gained assess to the victim’s home, Azizam, a Malaysian cook, then robbed the man of his only valuables and pawned them.
Azizam was jailed for three years and nine months with six strokes of the cane on Thursday (24 June) on one count of robbery and one count of consuming methamphetamine, which he pleaded guilty to.
Another charge of remaining in Singapore after the expiry of his work permit and special pass, and committing criminal breach of trust, were taken into account for his sentencing.
Met victim on his way to restaurant
The victim, who had been unemployed for a year due to a stroke, had been staying with a roommate at a one-room rental flat and receiving financial assistance from the Community Development Council (CDC) and Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS).
He would usually head to a restaurant via bus at around the same time daily. At around 1.30pm on 24 September last year, Azizam approached him while he was waiting at the bus stop along Kent Road, and asked for directions to Geylang.
After the victim gave him directions, Azizam began telling him about the Baitulmal organisation. Both men then headed to the restaurant to have their lunch together, and Azizam continued talking about the bogus organisation.
After lunch, the victim said he was going to have his dressing changed at Geylang Polyclinic, and Azizam offered to take the victim there in a taxi. The victim declined and both men parted ways.
The next day, at about 1.30pm, as the victim was heading to the restaurant again, Azizam met him at the same bus stop.
He lied to the elderly man that a religious teacher from Baitulmal was waiting for them in a car and wanted to go to the victim’s flat to assess if he was eligible to receive financial assistance from the organisation.
Azizam suggested that they proceeded to the flat first and the religious teacher would arrive later. The victim agreed and led Azizam to his residence.
Used T-shirt to assault victim
At the flat, Azizam looked around and asked the victim to remove his jewellery while awaiting the arrival of the religious teacher.
Azizam then took one of the elderly man’s shirt, went behind him and tried to strangle the victim with it. The victim struggled, prompting Azizam to put his right hand over the victim’s mouth and say, “You keep quiet, if not I kill you."
Azizam then stood before the victim and used his knee to press the victim’s chest against his sofa. He wore the T-shirt he used to strangle the victim and closed the door of his flat.
Holding a knife he had taken from the victim’s flat, Azizam again told the victim, “You keep quiet, if not I kill you.”
The victim’s pleas fell on deaf ears, and Azizam demanded for his jewellery. The victim handed over with his gold necklace, two gold rings and gold bangle, and Azizam also stole the victim’s mobile phone, worth $230, before leaving.
The victim later asked for help to lodge a police report. He sustained minor skin injuries from the incident.
Azizam pawned the jewellery over the next few days for $650 and sold the phone for $90. All were recovered by the police.
He was subsequently arrested in Hougang. An analysis of his urine sample showed that he had consumed methamphetamine. He had been abusing the drug since July 2019.
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