Two Myanmar men pleaded guilty in a Singapore court yesterday to several charges related to a botched attempt to abduct and ultimately murder a fellow Myanmar native who was suspected of having an affair with an associate of theirs, also a Myanmar native.
Zaw Min Hlaing, 40, and Phyo Min Naing, 34, were arrested on June 22, 2015, the day after they tried to kidnap an engineer named Aye Maung Maung Thet, 29, in a Singapore parking lot.
During their August 2016 trial, the men revealed that the plot was masterminded by a businessman named Aung Aung, also known as Win Kyaw Kyaw Aung, 33, who believed Aye Maung Maung Thet was having an affair with his wife, Sandi.
Police are still searching for Aung Aung, who is believed to have fled Singapore. Aye Maung Maung Thet’s whereabouts are also unknown. Both men are permanent residents of Singapore.
Aung Aung’s plan was for Zaw Min Hlaing and Phyo Min Naing to take Aye Maung Maung Thet to a room he had rented at the Aloha Changi seaside resort, which was near the victim’s home. Aung Aung planned to search Aye Maung Maung Thet’s home for evidence of the alleged affair and then interrogate his captive about it before eventually having him killed, according to court documents reviewed by the Straits Times.
However, when Zaw Min Hlaing and Phyo Min Naing attacked Aye Maung Maung Thet in the multi-story parking lot and tried to push him into their van, the victim fought back and resisted capture, despite being tasered. When he called out to passersby, the two attackers fled. However, they left van parked beside their victim’s car. Aye Maung Maung Thet reported the attack to Singapore police.
Zaw Min Hlaing was arrested the following day when brought the van back to the rental company. He led police to the rented room, where they found Phyo Min Naing, along with a meat mincer, a chainsaw, kitchen knives, two gas stoves, trolley bags, plastic sheets, cable ties, a cleaver, aprons, a chopping board, and rubber boots – items that would have been used to interrogate and then murder Aye Maung Maung Thet.
Zaw Min Hlaing, a Singapore permanent resident, pleaded guilty yesterday to seven charges, including attempted abduction, possessing a foldable knife, having control of a stun gun, and permitting another Myanmar national to drive on two occasions without a driving license or insurance coverage.
Phyo Min Naing admitted to attempted abduction and having control of a stun gun and pepper spray.
Their crimes carry a penalty of up to 14 years in prison, plus a fine. The case will continue on Friday, Nov. 24.