Jail for man and nephew who planned to snatch S$40,000 from victim in a ‘sense of misguided vigilante justice’

Jail for man and nephew who planned to snatch S$40,000 from victim in a 'sense of misguided vigilante justice'

SINGAPORE: Misguided by a sense of justice, a man devised a plan to snatch S$40,000 (US$29,700) out of the hands of another man, even roping in his nephew to help. 

The plan failed and 51-year-old Tate Lim, was jailed for seven months on Tuesday (Feb 13), while his nephew, Ivan Lim Teng Tze, 29, was jailed three months and two weeks. Ivan Lim had driven a man to grab the victim’s money. 

The uncle and nephew each pleaded guilty to a charge of being part of a conspiracy to commit attempted snatch theft, which involved the use of force.

Ivan Lim had an unrelated charge of breaching COVID-19-related regulations in 2021 taken into consideration for his sentencing. 

In December 2022, the victim, then 33-year-old Yin Yang, agreed to exchange S$40,000 in cash for yuan into his bank account through an intermediary known as “Cyan”.

The victim was supposed to exchange the money with a woman known as Wang Mengmeng, with Ms Wang receiving Singapore currency while the victim received yuan. 

On Dec 25, 2022, the victim, Ms Wang and another man met in person. The intermediary, Cyan, claimed he was unable to make the meeting.

Cyan then instructed Ms Wang to transfer the agreed sum to specified bank accounts. She complied. 

However the victim did not receive any money and refused to hand over his cash. Both the victim and Ms Wang then headed to Jurong East Neighbourhood Police Centre to lodge police reports. 

Meanwhile, Tate Lim learned about the failed transfer and formed a plan to have the S$40,000 snatched from the victim, as he felt that the money had been “wrongfully withheld” from Ms Wang, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Huo Jiongrui. Court documents did not state how Tate Lim was related to Ms Wang. 

Tate Lim roped in his nephew and another man, Muhamad Sahlifi Suleiman, to help with the scheme. 

Sahlifi brought in another man, Amzar Daiyan Abdul Ghafor, who agreed to snatch the money in exchange for S$1,000. A group of the men then waited outside Jurong East Neighbourhood Police Centre for Mr Yin.

When Mr Yin emerged, Ivan Lim tailed him in a car, driving Daiyan to a block in Bukit Batok Street 52, where the victim alighted from his private hire.  

At about 6.34pm, at the void deck’s lift lobby, Daiyan attempted to grab the money from the victim but failed. Instead, he punched the victim in the face. The victim suffered minor injuries. 

In sentencing submissions, Mr Huo noted that the two accused had not committed their offences out of greed, but rather a “sense of misplaced vigilante justice”. Nevertheless, he said that such acts should not be encouraged. 

Sahlifi’s case is still pending before the courts.