The last two of six Bangladeshi nationals accused of plotting to finance terror attacks in their home country were sentenced to between 24 months and 30 months jail on Tuesday (Aug 30).
The men, 34-year-old Zzaman Daulat and 30-year-old Mamun Leakot Ali pleaded guilty on Tuesday afternoon, after earlier denying charges brought against them under the new Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act (TSOFA). Zzaman was sentenced to 24 months, while Mamun was sentenced to 30 months behind bars.
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They had been detained along with six other radicalised Bangladeshi nationals under the Internal Security Act in April for planning to topple their government back home. They previously denied the charges brought against them under the Act.
The duo, clad in purple overalls with the word "detainee" printed on the back, were brought in to the courtroom just after 3.30pm. They were surrounded by five Gurkha officers throughout the proceedings. There was heavy police presence even before proceedings commenced.
Prosecutors said Zzaman, a construction worker who earned between S$1,300 to S$1,500 a month, provided S$200 to Rahman Mizanur for the purpose of facilitating a terrorist act in Bangladesh.
Mizanur was among four other Bangladeshi nationals sentenced to between 24 months and 60 months for financing terrorism in July. He was the ringleader of the group, authorities had said.
Mamun, prosecutors said, had asked a man to pass Mizanur S$500 from leftover funds collected from a previous group of 27 Bangladeshi nationals repatriated for terror links. Mizanur had called for funds for the purpose of eventually forming the Islamic State in Bangladesh (ISB).
Mamun was deputy leader of the group, but took over as ringleader when Mizanur was arrested on March 29. Zzaman was security counsel of the group.
Prosecutors asked for 24 months for Zzaman, and 30 months for Mamun given their roles in the group. While the amount of money involved was not large, it is "well-known" that in the current climate of terrorism, great violence can be perpetrated through small amounts of money, they said.
Lawyers Ramesh Tiwari and Noor Marica representing the men pro bono, argued in mitigation that both men had realised their mistakes.
Mr Marican said Zzaman, who has a wife and daughter in Bangladesh, realised how misguided he was and asked for forgiveness from the state and from Singaporeans for causing fear. Mr Marican added that Zzaman wanted to convey the message that he had realised his actions were not part of the teachings of Islam and that he had gone against his religion by promoting harm.
As for Mamun, Mr Marican said he had cooperated fully with investigations once legal counsel had been provided.
The four men sentenced previously - Rahman Mizanur, Miah Rubel, Md Jabath Kysar Haje Norul Islam Sowdagar and Sohel Hawlader Ismail Hawlader - had pleaded guilty in May to one or two counts each of providing or collecting hundreds of dollars to fund terror attacks in Bangladesh.
Two more members of their group have not been charged.