Singapore

Businessman, 69, charged with Boon Tat Street murder

A 69-year-old businessman who allegedly stabbed his son-in-law in front of a lunchtime crowd in the Central Business District on Monday was yesterday charged with his murder.

Tan Nam Seng allegedly caused the death of Mr Spencer Tuppani, 38, a former director of shipping company TNS Ocean Lines, in Boon Tat Street near Robinson Road at 1.22pm that day.

Clad in a red polo shirt and blue bermudas, Tan showed no expression as the charge was read to him in English.

Mr Tuppani's wife, Ms Tan Cheng Cheng, 43, was in court. She is Tan's daughter.

After he was stabbed, Mr Tuppani collapsed about 70m away outside an eatery, A Poke Theory, along the same street.

He died about an hour later in hospital.

Tan's lawyer, Mr Andy Chiok, asked District Judge Christopher Goh if his client's family could talk to him for two minutes to ensure that his health was all right.

He said Tan has "chronic medical conditions" and the family was concerned about his health.

When Judge Goh asked Tan if he had medication with him, Tan said yes.

He denied counsel's request for the family to see Tan in view of the ongoing investigation.

After the case was heard, Ms Tan said in a statement: "This is a double tragedy for the family. Our family has lost a loved one and my beloved father is facing a serious charge."

PRIVACY

Requesting that the family's privacy be respected, she added: "You cannot imagine our immense grief, but please try to understand and let us have some peace."

In 2014, the victim was an Outstanding Entrepreneur finalist at the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry-DBS Singapore Indian Entrepreneur Awards.

He was credited with steering TNS Ocean Lines back to profitability that year, after weathering the 2007 global economic crisis.

TNS Ocean Lines was sold to logistics company GKE Corporation for $9 million in November last year.

In a statement dated July 10, police said they received a call for assistance in Boon Tat Street around 1.20pm that day.

Officers arrived at the scene to find Mr Tuppani lying motionless and Tan standing nearby.

Tan will be remanded at the Central Police Division for investigation until July 19.

If convicted of murder, he faces the death penalty.

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