Married man hired hitman to kill ex-lover’s new boyfriend
Jealous risk management exec, 47, pleads guilty to abetting murder by going on Dark Web to order hit
Fuelled by jealousy after his former lover started seeing someone else, a married man scoured the Dark Web for a hitman to take out her new beau.
After their break-up, risk management executive Allen Vincent Hui Kim Seng, 47, continued pursuing Ms Ng Woan Man, 30, in spite of her rejections.
He paid half the rent on her flat and even added her as a beneficiary to his life insurance policy and Central Provident Fund account.
But after finding out about her boyfriend, Mr Tan Han Shen, 30, he stalked her and sought a hitman to harm him.
When he found a website called "Camorra Hitmen" on the Dark Web, a part of the Internet that is rife with illegal activities, Hui ordered a hit on Mr Tan, paying a total of $8,300 in bitcoin.
Hui pleaded guilty yesterday to abetment of murder, admitting that he instructed an unknown person to kill Mr Tan in a staged car accident.
A second charge for criminal intimidation was taken into consideration.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Chua told the court that Hui and Ms Ng, a Malaysian, were colleagues and started an affair in April 2016.
Hui told her he planned to leave his wife and daughter. When she realised he had no intention to do so, she broke up with him in February last year.
They remained on speaking terms after the split. Then Ms Ng met Mr Tan at a company event at her new job.
When she casually mentioned she was thinking of dating a colleague, Hui became consumed with jealousy.
He began stalking her physically and online, and sent her threatening text messages. He also monitored her social media accounts to try to find out her colleague's identity.
When he chanced upon the "Camorra Hitmen" website, he was initially put off by having to pay for its service in bitcoin, which he was not familiar with.
Like the Mafia, the Camorra is a crime syndicate with roots in Italy. Court documents did not mention whether the person Hui was in contact with is a real hitman or a con man.
When Hui found out Ms Ng and Mr Tan had gone on a date on April 28 last year, he messaged her to order her to return to her flat.
He said he would be waiting for her, and if Mr Tan was with her, "I will kill him".
When Ms Ng ignored Hui's messages and continued with her date, he drove to a multi-storey carpark near the flat and staked out the lift lobby until 3am the next day.
On May 5, he researched how to buy and trade bitcoin before creating an account on the "Camorra Hitmen" website the next day.
He submitted Mr Tan's particulars and instructed the alleged hitman to cut off his right hand. He then changed his mind and asked for the hand to be incapacitated for life instead.
Hui transferred 0.03 bitcoins, valued at $600, to prove he could pay for the job.
To confirm Mr Tan's identity, Hui drove to the same carpark on May 9 and stalked the public atrium for two hours.
After identifying him, Hui found his car and took down the vehicle plate number before following him to a housing estate in Hougang.
Hui later ordered the alleged hitman to pour acid on Mr Tan's face instead and forwarded his Instagram photo, name, car plate number and possible address. He also transferred about $3,000 in bitcoin for the job.
The "hitman" dissuaded Hui from using acid as it made avoiding detection more difficult. He suggested that he kill Mr Tan in a staged car accident or robbery for an additional US$5,000 ($6,800).
Hui then gave the order to "kill him (Mr Tan) and make it look like a car accident on the road".
But he later decided it was too expensive and settled for a freak car accident that would leave Mr Tan crippled or wheelchair-bound and transferred another $3,200 in bitcoin.
He later changed his mind again and haggled successfully for the initial kill job to be done for another $1,500.
The murder was to take place on May 22 last year at 7pm to 8pm, as Hui knew Mr Tan would be dropping Ms Ng at the airport earlier and he did not want her to get hurt.
The plot was exposed after a journalist from US news outlet CBS tipped off the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Washington Mission on May 12. MFA alerted the police and Hui was arrested on May 17.
Under the police's directions, he called off the hit and withdrew all the bitcoin from his "Camorra Hitmen" account.
The case has been adjourned for sentencing submissions, and Hui is expected to be back in court on Sept 4.
No bail was offered. For abetting murder, Hui faces seven years in jail and a fine.