SINGAPORE — A police ambush on a wanted thief and drug offender in March 2016 resulted in a standoff lasting four hours after the suspect trespassed into a home and held a resident against her will at knifepoint.
Mohamed Fazulla Mohamed Khan, 35, eventually let the 23-year-old resident go after nearly one-and-a-half hours, but continued his standoff with police negotiators for about two-and-a-half hours, a court heard on Wednesday (9 October).
At the State Courts on Wednesday, Fazulla, who was described by the prosecution as a “persistent habitual offender”, was sentenced to five years’ corrective training along with three strokes of the cane.
Fazulla pleaded guilty to nine charges, five of which were committed while he was on bail. The charges include theft, resistance to lawful arrest, criminal intimidation, and use and possession of controlled drugs.
Barged into home, held victim at knifepoint
Wanted by the police for a spate of thefts, plainclothes policemen laid an ambush for Fazulla at an HDB block in Pasir Ris at about 2pm on 21 March 2016.
At about 3pm, Fazulla was seen at the staircase landing on the ground floor. But the culprit spotted the officers and bolted up the staircase, with the policemen chasing after him.
The officers saw him throwing away a black sling bag, which contained a small amount of methamphetamine.
Fazulla ran into a flat which had its main gate unlocked, grabbed a kitchen knife with a 12.5cm blade and knocked on the toilet door.
The 23-year-old victim opened the toilet door and was shocked to see Fazulla. She tried to close the door back but Fazulla managed to barge into the toilet while holding the knife and didn’t let the victim leave.
Officers started to negotiate for the victim’s release, but Fazulla held her captive and refused to surrender.
“Instead, the accused requested for two days before he would surrender. The accused was observed to be emotionally unstable,” said Deputy Public Prosector Sheryl Yeo.
When a police deputy superintendent approached to check on the victim, Fazulla moved the knife closer to the victim’s body and pointed it her abdomen. The officer then retreated.
Fazulla released the victim at 4.52pm, having confined her since 3.38pm. Still, he refused to surrender himself and held onto the knife.
He threatened to stab himself and continued to negotiate with officers from the crisis negotiation unit. He eventually surrendered himself at about 7.20pm.
“Significant police resource was expended during the standoff. The area also had to be cordoned off and amenities such as gas supply for the entire floor was turned off,” said DPP Yeo.
Stole Rolex watch, took drugs
The next week, officers doing follow-up investigations found a stolen $3,300 Rolex watch in Fazulla’s flat. He had stolen the watch from a shop at Novena Square 2 on 16 March 2016.
The theft happened when a sales assistant was attending to another customer. Fazulla took the watch and placed it inside his pocket before leaving. The shop owner made a police report the same day.
After his arrest for the 21 March incident, Fazulla was released on bail.
Barely three months later, on 15 June, anti-narcotics officers arrested Fazulla for failing to report for a urine test and for drug consumption.
He was made to provide two urine samples, which tested positive for methamphetamine.
Stole Frederique Constant watch, Chanel bag
Two months later, on 29 August 2016, Fazulla stole a $1,800 Frederique Constant watch from shop at Clarke Quay Central.
He told the shop owner he wanted to buy two watches and handed over his credit card. But when the payment transaction could not go through, he asked for the nearest ATM and left.
The shop owner then realised one watch was missing and reviewed CCTV footage and saw Fazulla pocketing the item. The culprit sold the luxury watch for $450 to a passer-by at Bedok Interchange.
Two months later, on 21 October, Fazulla stole a $3,350 Chanel bag from a shop at Katong Plaza.
He took the bag from a glass cabinet and hid it under his shirt. He then used his sling bag to cover the bulge and left.
His actions were again caught on CCTV. The bag was also not recovered.
Stole cash card, Chanel wallet
On 16 October last year, Fazulla stole a cash card from a cab.
He had taken the taxi and wanted to card his fare but he dropped the card onto the floor. It landed below the driver’s seat of the taxi.
The taxi driver and Fazulla got out and the former tried to move the seat back to retrieve the card. When the driver wasn’t looking, Fazulla took the opportunity to steal the cabby’s cash card from his in-vehicle unit.
Later, when the card payment transaction couldn’t go through, Fazulla told the cabby that he would withdraw money. But he fled without paying.
Fazulla transferred $50.13 from the cash card into his bank account before throwing the card away. No restitution has been made.
Two months later, on 1 December, Fazullah also stole a $1,280 Chanel wallet from a shop at Far East Square.
He took the wallet from a display shelf, tucked it in between his back and jeans and left. His actions were caught on CCTV. The wallet was not recovered.
Offenders sentenced to corrective training must serve their sentence of between five and 14 years in full with no remission for good behaviour.
In 2011, Fazullah was sent to the Drug Rehabilitation Centre for consuming morphine.
The following year, he was jailed for six weeks for theft and seven months for drug possession.
In 2014, he was sent back to prison for eight months for theft and jailed 10 months for consuming morphine.
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