A Malaysian man, who helped “One-eyed Dragon” Tan Chor Jin flee Singapore after the latter shot and killed a man, pleaded guilty on Monday (Aug 8) to harbouring an offender.
Ho Yueh Keong’s plea of guilt comes more than 10 years after he drove Tan across the border on Feb 15, 2006, shortly after Tan had shot nightclub owner Lim Hock Soon between 6.55am and 7.11am.
Lim, 41, was gunned down in his Serangoon Avenue 4 flat. Tan, dubbed the “One-eyed Dragon” because he was blind in his right eye, reportedly owed Lim S$30,000 in loans. He fired six rounds from a Beretta .22-calibre pistol, with five bullets hitting Lim.
A District Court heard on Monday that Ho had driven Tan to Singapore on Feb 14, a day before the killing.
Ho knew Tan had acquired a pistol, “for personal protection as he was very rich”. Tan had also told Ho weeks before that he wanted to kill Lim. However, Ho was unaware Tan had brought the pistol into Singapore and intended to kill Lim the next day.
Upon reaching Singapore, the men headed to Block 515 Hougang Avenue 10, where Ho rested for the night. He was woken up by Tan next morning, who asked to be driven back to Malaysia.
On the way to the checkpoint, Ho heard Tan telling someone over the phone that he had killed Lim. Tan readily admitted this when Ho questioned him, and told Ho he had thrown the pistol into a river.
Both men drove into Johor Bahru at about 8.22am on Feb 15, 2006, where Tan dropped Ho at his home and told him to pack a change of clothes and wait for him. He then returned shortly after in a BMW, and the pair drove to Penang. By this time, the shooting had already been reported in the media and they were both wanted men.
They returned to Johor Bahru and parted ways. An arrest warrant for Ho was issued on Feb 16. Though Ho wanted to surrender, Tan persuaded him not to. Tan was arrested in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 25 and brought back to Singapore. He was subsequently sentenced to death in 2007 and executed in 2009, after his appeal was dismissed by the apex court and a clemency application was denied.
Ho, after nine years on the run, was arrested in Malaysia and brought back to Singapore on Jul 13 last year.
His case will next be mentioned on Wednesday. Ho faces up to five years’ jail and a fine for harbouring an offender knowing he had committed murder. A second charge for intentionally omitting to give any information about the offence, despite being legally bound to do so, will be taken into consideration when Ho is sentenced.