Past cases of gun crimes in Singapore

A human hand pointing a loaded revolver (Photo: Getty Images)

On 20 June, a police officer was hurt in a shooting incident in Khoo Teck Puat hospital.

According to local media reports, a suspect was being escorted to the hospital because he complained of chest pains. There, he attempted to escape and snatched the officer’s gun from the holder. The police officer sustained gunshot wounds to his thumb and foot from the attack.

In an update by the Singapore Police Force on Facebook on 21 June, the 24-year-old now faces a charge under the Arms Offences Act, which is punishable by death.

Such incidents involving guns are rare in Singapore, with strict laws put in place, but cases of gun crimes do happen. Here are a few notable past cases in Singapore.

Retiree accidentally shot neighbor with air rifle

In April 2013, a retiree, Lee Chee Kum was jailed six weeks for accidentally shooting a neighbor with an air rifle in 2012, according to a Straits Times report.

The 52-year-old was an air gun fanatic, and was fined S$5,000 for possessing an arsenal of illegal weapons.

In October 2014, Lee was again jailed, this time for importing 15 replica weapons. He had brought in the weapons, which included 12 guns and three rifles, from Bangkok, Thailand.

Former triad leader ‘One-Eyed Dragon’ hanged for killing nightclub owner with gun

A former triad leader, Tan Chor Jin, dubbed the “One-Eyed Dragon” because of his one blind eye, gunned down a nightclub owner, Lim Hock Soon, in 2006.

Reports said that Tan had barged into Lim’s flat with a knife and a loaded pistol. He had ordered Lim to tie up his wife, daughter and their maid, before firing six shots at Lim. Five of the six bullets hit Lim.

He was convicted in May 2007 of fatally shooting Lim. Tan tried to avoid the gallows, and pleaded for clemency in 2009, but was denied by the President. He was hanged at Changi Prison on 9 February 2009.

Man attempts to rob a bank with an illegal air pistol

A man facing financial difficulties came up with a plan to rob a bank with an illegal air pistol — but got cold feet at the last minute and the plan didn’t fall through.

According to a Straits Times report, 31-year-old Ng Shi Qiang researched on bank heists and carried out reconnaissance missions at several banks in Singapore, before targeting a POSB outlet in Yishun.

On 14 October 2013, Ng arrived at the outlet in the morning with a bag carrying the pistol and other equipment. However, at the last minute, when two women arrived to unlock the front door, Ng realised that he did not want to hurt them, and did not carry out his plan to rush in the door.

Instead, he hid the items in a dry riser unit at a nearby HDB block. Two days later, Ng returned to retrieve the items, but found them missing, as a resident had already discovered them and notified the police.

In Feb this year, Ng was jailed for five years and nine months, and given six strokes of the cane, after pleading to having unlawful possession of the Beretta pistol.

Man robs NSF of assault rifle with screwdriver

A 30-year-old man, armed with a screwdriver, robbed a full-time national serviceman (NSF) of his assault rifle in May 2012.

Mohammad Ridzuan Jamari, a civilian contractor, working at a camp in Upper Jurong, wielded a 20cm-long screwdriver and stole the rifle from NSF Kang Tai at the standard obstacle course in Pasir Laba Camp.

A few people on site apprehended him, and the rifle did not leave the camp site.

Mohammad Ridzuan was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, and sentenced to five years and three months in jail, as well as three strokes of the cane.