News

Dead man, suspects came here to sell tissue paper

Pakistani murder suspects & victim knew each other

They came to Singapore from the same Pakistani village last month to sell tissue paper.

But an alleged falling out between the three men, presumably over earnings, ended with the death of one of them earlier this week.

His legless body was found stuffed in a suitcase at Syed Alwi Road on Wednesday.

Police officers arrested the two other Pakistanis, aged 43 and 25, at Rowell Road in Little India the next day.

A pair of human legs, severed at the thighs, were recovered that night at the Muslim Cemetery near the junction of Jalan Kubor and Rochor Canal Road. They are believed to belong to the dead man, who was 59 years old.

The three men were staying at a Rowell Road lodging house during their time here.

The owner of the lodging house, who declined to be named, told The New Paper yesterday that the older suspect and the victim checked in about a month ago, on May 17.

He knew the older suspect as Mr Rashid and the victim as Mr Mohamed Noor. They shared a room and the younger suspect, whom he knew as Mr Rizwan, arrived 11 days later.

He was accompanied by three other Pakistanis - two women and a man.

The six Pakistanis were here on social visit passes, Chinese evening daily Shin Min Daily News reported.

According to the lodging house owner, they had flown in from Karachi and were supposed to fly home together on June 27.

Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that the three people who were part of the second group checked out around noon yesterday and left Singapore soon after.

On Wednesday around 9am, just hours before the body was discovered, Mr Rashid was spotted buying an electric saw from the nearby Mustafa Centre. A worker at the mall reportedly said he was calm when he did so.

He was just as composed around 9pm that day - about three hours after the body was found - when he paid his rent to the owner of the lodging house.

The owner told TNP that Mr Rashid even joked with him.

Following the gruesome discovery of the body in the suitcase, police officers went looking for the two men at the lodging house on Thursday.

TNP understands that both men were not there when the officers arrived. But they were ambushed and arrested when they turned up around 3pm.

CALM

Onlookers said Mr Rashid was calm when the police pounced on him.

A woman working in a nearby shop, who declined to be named, told Shin Min: "He showed no emotion and did not put up a struggle."

The same could not be said for the younger Pakistani, Mr Rizwan.

He appeared scared when he was surrounded by about 30 police officers at the back of the lodging house, and was crying and screaming when they arrested him.

A Bangladeshi construction worker, Mr Mohamed Juwel , 33, who witnessed the incident, said he thought the men were arrested for begging.

He told TNP: "I sometimes see the suspects asking for money in Little India. I didn't know they were arrested for murder until later."

Yesterday, four police officers returned to the lodging house at 3.45pm and its owner was seen handing over some passports to one of them.

The officers entered the property and walked out carrying four bags including a suitcase and a sling bag. They stowed the bags into the boot of a car before leaving about 15 minutes later.

Mr Rashid and Mr Rizwan are expected to be charged in court today.

TWO SAWS?

Other than an electric saw, a bow saw was also involved in the case, reported Shin Min Daily News.

After buying an electric saw from Mustafa Centre, the suspects allegedly went to a hardware shop at Kampong Kapor Road to buy a 24-inch bow saw, the Chinese evening daily said.

The electric saw was eventually found in the same suitcase holding the severed legs in the Muslim Cemetery at Jalan Kubor.

Lianhe Wanbao reported that the electric saw was clean and appeared unused.

It is not known if or how the bow saw was recovered.