'Misplaced vigilante justice': Man involved nephew in attempt to snatch $40k in Bukit Batok, both jailed

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Feb 13, 2024

The 51-year-old mastermind of a botched plan to grab $40,000 from a man was on Feb 13 sentenced to seven months’ jail.

Tate Lim pleaded guilty to being part of a conspiracy to commit attempted snatch theft in a case the prosecution described as one involving misplaced vigilante justice.

Lim targeted Mr Yin Yang, 33, because he believed the younger man had wrongfully withheld the $40,000 from a woman identified in court as a Ms Wang Mengmeng.

Lim’s relationship with Ms Wang was not disclosed in court documents.

The mastermind’s nephew, Ivan Lim Teng Tze, also admitted to his role in the conspiracy. The 29-year-old was sentenced to three months and two weeks in jail on Feb 13.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Huo Jiongrui said that the Lims did not commit their offences out of greed.

“Rather, their... attempt to commit snatch theft was committed out of a sense of misplaced vigilante justice... Nevertheless, such acts of vigilante justice should not be encouraged,” added the DPP.

It all started in December 2022, when Mr Yin agreed with a man, identified only as “Cyan” in court documents, to exchange $40,000 of Mr Yin’s money for Chinese yuan.

Separately, Ms Wang agreed to transfer some yuan into Cyan’s account in exchange for $40,000 in cash.

Cyan later told Ms Wang and Mr Yin that he could not meet them in person. But he told Ms Wang that Mr Yin was his friend, and told Mr Yin that Ms Wang was his sister.

Mr Yin was carrying $40,000 in cash when he met Ms Wang on Dec 25, 2022. Cyan instructed Ms Yang to transfer an undisclosed amount of Chinese currency to certain bank accounts.

She did as she was told but none of the accounts belonged to Mr Yin, who then refused to give her the $40,000.

Mr Yin and Ms Wang then went to the Jurong East Neighbourhood Police Centre to report the incident.

On learning this, Tate Lim asked Ivan Lim and Muhamad Sahlifi Suleiman, 42, to meet near the police centre to discuss a plan to snatch the money from Mr Yin.

The DPP said that Sahlifi roped in Amzar Daiyan Abdul Ghafor, offering him $1,000 to be part of the conspiracy. Sahlifi’s relationship with the Lims was not stated in court documents.

Ivan Lim, Sahlifi and Amzar met near the police centre shortly before 3.30pm that day. Although Tate Lim was elsewhere, he gave instructions to the group through the phone.

As Mr Yin left the police centre in a taxi, Ivan Lim and Amzar followed him in a car.

The victim alighted near a Bukit Batok block of flats at around 6.30pm, and Amzar followed him to a lift lobby, where he tried to grab the money.

Amzar punched the victim, causing facial injuries, but he could not get the cash.

Mr Yin sought treatment at a hospital and was given three days of medical leave. Court documents did not disclose what happened next, but the Lims were later charged in court.

On Feb 13, Tate Lim was offered bail at $15,000, while his nephew was offered $20,000 bail.

Both are expected to surrender themselves at the State Courts on Feb 27 to begin serving their sentences.

Amzar was dealt with by the court earlier, but details about his sentence were not disclosed in court documents. The case against Sahlifi is pending.

The Straits Times

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