Two Vietnamese were arrested in Singapore on Tuesday night on suspicion of stealing 500,000 Singapore dollars, or nearly US$350,000, from a safe at a wholesale center.
At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, police said that they arrested the suspects, aged 23 and 35, at a public area in Marina Bay Sands (MBS) at about 10.30pm, about 16 hours after the shop owners discovered the break-in and found their safe had been cut open.
About $433,000 in cash and some luxury goods were recovered from a hotel room at MBS, which the suspects were staying in since Saturday (Jan 2), the Straits Times cited the police.
Initial investigation found the men broke into the Pasir Panjang wholesale center shop
by forcing open a ventilator on the roof, the news report said.
A photo supplied by police shows a safe with a hole cut by the suspects to obtain the cash. Photo credit: Singapore Police Force/Straitstimes.com
Police said the safe looked like it had been cut open with some mechanical tools, but they have not recovered any tools.
The officers have recovered 433,000 Singapore dollars in cash and some “luxury goods” including shoes and wallets believed to have been bought with some of the stolen money.
The fruit stall owner told local media that he found out about the break-in when opening his shop at 7 a.m. The shop has a CCTV camera but the hard disk was jammed at the time.
He said the large amount of money was meant as payments for employees and suppliers.
"Most of the money was prepared for our suppliers who requested for cash payments. The rest were bonuses for our employees," the owner's younger brother told the Straits Times.
Police tracked down the suspects using DNA tests and questioning taxi drivers in the area.
The two suspects will be charged on Thursday (Jan 7) for housebreaking and theft by night. If convicted, they may face a jail term of up to 14 years.