SINGAPORE: Faced with mounting moneylender debts, a former AETOS auxiliary officer decided to replicate the Standard Chartered robbery and took his gun with him to rob a licensed lender of around S$24,800.
Mahadi Muhamad Mukhtar, 39, was sentenced to 16 years and six months in prison and 18 strokes of the cane on Tuesday September 13. He pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery, unlawful carrying of a revolver and unlawful possession of ammunition. Two other charges were considered.
The court heard that Mahadi was employed at AETOS holdings as an auxiliary police officer. He started borrowing money from unapproved lenders in February 2021 to pay off his bank loan.
His debts piled up with six unapproved lenders and he began borrowing from friends and taking out bank loans. Eventually, he decided to commit the robbery to solve his financial problems, the court heard.
He started researching flights on the Internet. At first he thought of robbing a jewelry store, but thought it would be difficult to sell the jewelry.
He decided to rob an approved lender and settled on OT Credit because it was staffed by women, wasn’t usually crowded, and had been robbed before.
On April 12 last year, he visited OT Credit at Block 135, Jurong Gateway Road to make sure he was open for business. He saw that this was the case and that two employees were on duty.
After that, he went to the AETOS complex to cover a colleague’s shift. Later that afternoon, he loaded five rounds of ammunition into his M85 Taurus revolver and placed it in his shoulder bag.
He replaced his AETOS shirt with a dark blue polo shirt to avoid identification before taking a Grab ride to the JCube mall with the revolver loaded in his bag.
Mahadi went to OT Credit and saw only one employee and one customer in the store. He thought about how he would demand the money and decided to copy the standard charter flight approach by writing his demands on a note.
In the 2016 Standard Chartered robbery, Canadian James Roach handed a note to a bank teller and placed his hand in a shoulder bag on the counter, claiming it was a gun .
Roach’s note read, “This is a robbery. I have a gun in my bag.” The bank teller handed Roach around S$30,000 and he fled the country with it. He was taken back to Singapore and sentenced to five years in prison and six strokes of the cane last year.