March - Crime: Todd and Kovan

The death of a young American engineer, Shane Todd, which occurred in 2012 came into spotlight again, when Institute of Microelectronics (IME), a Singapore government research agency, rebutted in March an article published in the Financial Times (FT) a month earlier. A coroner's inquest was held and the death was ruled a suicide. Later in the year, the police department was shaken when Iskandar Rahmat, one of their own, was accused of double-murders on July 10 in the Kovan area. 

Shane Todd, Courtesy:

Shane Todd, Courtesy:

Shane Todd: a suicide

The curious case of Shane Todd, which had generated much international attention ever-since FT's article, Death in Singapore, was published, came to a conclusion on July 8. On that day, a coroner ruled Todd's death as a result of suicide, contrary to his family's claims of him being murdered.

Before his death, Todd, was working at IME. He was found hanging in his bathroom after he had left his job to return to the US. While the initial police investigations pointed towards a suicide, the Todd family gathered support from few US senators and launched a campaign claiming his death was a murder linked to his work at IME. Initially, the family attended the coroner's inquiry but quit mid-way unexpectedly and returned to US.

After, Chay Yuen Fatt, the state corner, said that he was “satisfied that there was no foul play involved in the deceased’s death”, the US embassy in Singapore too issued a statement praising the inquest as “comprehensive, fair and transparent”. 

Kovan double-murders

While Shane Todd's death was big international news, the crime story that hogged the limelight at home was the double-murders at Hillside Drive in Kovan.

Tan Boon Sin, 66, and Tan Chee Heong, 42, a father-and-son pair, were found murdered with a blood trail one km apart linking their bodies. Disturbingly, the accused was a senior staff sergeant in Singapore police force, Iskandar Rahmat, who was arrested in Johor Bahru after a 54-hour manhunt. The murder trial will start in March 2014.

Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee called it “a sad day for the police”. “Officer Iskandar's fall from grace has also brought dishonour to the 10,000 other police officers who dedicate themselves every day to protecting others, and who routinely risk their own safety to preserve those of others,” he said.