|Friday, May 26, 2017

Legless body in suitcase: Pakistani duo to hang for murder 

SINGAPORE, Feb 17: Two Pakistani men were sentenced to death on Friday (Feb 17) for murdering their compatriot, dismembering his body and disposing of the remains at a Muslim cemetery along Syed Alwi Road on Jun 11, 2014.

Rasheed Muhammad, 46, and Ramzan Rizwan, 28, smothered Muhammad Noor, 59, to death in their lodging house at Rowell Road and robbed him of S$6,000 – money which the killers had lost to Muhammad in a game of cards.

The men then made two trips to Mustafa Centre, where they bought two suitcases, trash bags and an electric saw. At the lodging house, they cut off Muhammad’s legs and packed his torso and legs, wrapped in trash bags, in two suitcases.

They cleaned up the murder scene with soap, before dragging the suitcases out of the house to dispose of the body.

They left the suitcase containing Muhammad’s legs at Jalan Kubor Muslim cemetery, and abandoned the other, containing the dead man’s torso, along Syed Alwi Road after its wheels broke and blood began to seep out of the suitcase.

The bloody suitcase was found hours later by an elderly man, who struggled to move the suitcase and sought help from passers-by, before they realised the suitcase contained a dismembered body. They called the police.

Rasheed and Ramzan were arrested the next day, and Rasheed led police to the cemetery to recover Muhammad’s legs.

Their movements the day before had been captured on by CCTVs, which showed the men at Mustafa Centre and later, dragging two suitcases along Rowell Road.

At trial, the men – who are distant relatives – blamed each other for Muhammad’s death. “What really happened in Muhammad Noor’s room (at the lodging house) no one may know for certain,” High Court Justice Choo Han Teck said. “Except that (he) was killed by either Rasheed or Ramzan, with the other assisting in the homicide.”

While the men did not deny they were in Muhammad’s room the night he was killed, both gave inconsistent and conflicting evidence about who did what. But based on the evidence, Justice Choo found it was Ramzan who smothered Muhammad, while Rasheed strangled him with his hands and a cloth string.

Further evidence of the men’s intent to commit murder was that “one man alone could not have carried out the dismemberment of Muhammad’s body”, Justice Choo said.

Rasheed, 46, is married with eight children, and came to Singapore to work to earn money for his daughters’ dowry. Ramzan, 28, is also married with three children. They came to Singapore in May 2014 and sold packets of tissue paper on the streets to make a living.