Police refute Singaporean who claimed he was improperly extradited to Malaysia

A screengrab from The Online Citizen's interview with Mohan. (Video screengrab)

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has refuted allegations made by a Singaporean man claiming to have been extradited to Malaysia without due process following his arrest in 2015.

Responding to media queries on Friday (17 January), the SPF said the handover of Mohan Rajangam, 50, to the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) was done “in accordance with the legal framework in our legislation” and also shared details of the events leading up to his arrest.

SPF said it was “necessary in the public interest” to issue a statement as there had been “widespread, erroneous assumptions on what happened in this case”.

In an article posted on 7 January, socio-political website The Online Citizen shared an interview it conducted with Mohan, during which he raised several issues surrounding his arrest and his subsequent treatment by the Malaysian authorities.

Among his claims, Mohan said he had been held by the Singapore police without representation for over 48 hours following his arrest and that his family had not been informed of his whereabouts or condition during this time.

He also claimed that he had been held in Penang for four months during an investigation into an alleged murder – during which he received no help from Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs – and was left to make his own way back to Singapore after his release from custody.

Mohan has since applied to a High Court for a criminal revision concerning his extradition to Malaysia. A criminal revision allows the court to examine records of any criminal proceedings before the State Courts as well as correct any irregularities in the decisions made.

Linked to Penang murder case

In its clarification, SPF said the RMP had shared with it information regarding members of a Malaysian organised crime gang from January 2015.

“Through follow-up investigations, it was established that Mohan was in regular contact with these Malaysian gang members,” said SPF, adding that both police forces continued to monitor the persons involved and kept up the sharing of information.

On 21 March 2015, SPF was informed that RMP officers had been involved in a shootout with members of the Mohan-linked gang. The incident led to the deaths of two gang members, one of whom was known to be in contact with Mohan.

RMP later arrested three people, including a senior gang leader, at a Johor Bahru residence that was rented by Mohan. The Malaysian police then sought SPF’s help in tracing and arresting Mohan on an “urgent basis” over his suspected involvement in the gang’s drug activities and for harbouring members of the gang.

Concerned over Mohan’s links to the gang and his involvement in “violence, drugs and firearms”, SPF decided to arrest him that same day. SPF noted that Mohan was informed of his suspected offences at the point of arrest and that his residence in Singapore was searched.

On 23 March 2015, RMP provided SPF with an arrest warrant for Mohan over a murder case.

“RMP’s investigations had linked the gang to a murder reported on 2 March 2015 in Georgetown, Penang. RMP was conducting investigations against Mohan for his possible involvement in the murder.”

The SPF added that the warrant was endorsed by a magistrate in Singapore. Mohan was then produced in the State Courts, where a magistrate directed that he be transferred to the Malaysian Court.

“Contrary to Mohan’s allegation that his family was not informed of his arrest and whereabouts, Mohan’s wife, mother and sister were present during the search of his residence on 21 March 2015,” said SPF.

“In addition, SPF had contacted Mohan’s brother on 23 March 2015, the same day that Mohan’s custody was transferred to RMP, and had provided his brother with the contact details of the RMP investigation officer.”

SPF noted that RMP eventually decided to take no further action against Mohan and released him on 15 July 2015.

Longstanding Singapore-Malaysia agreement

SPF noted that the “longstanding reciprocal arrangement” between Singapore and Malaysia to mutually recognise and execute arrest warrants in their respective jurisdictions has enabled local law enforcement authorities to “secure the return of many criminals who had fled to Malaysia” after committing offences here.

Between 2016 and 2019, Singapore sought assistance from the Malaysian authorities to arrest over 55 fugitives.

“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,” said SPF.

During this period, local law enforcement authorities also helped their Malaysian counterparts in arresting and transferring custody of over 25 fugitives in Singapore who were wanted by the Malaysians.

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