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    Apr 17, 2014

    Smuggler drives over officer's foot repeatedly

    THE pain must have been unbearable. Each time the tyre ran over his foot, it would have been excruciating.

    But that pain the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer went through was of no consequence to cigarette smuggler Khairun Nizar Isnin.

    He was determined to evade arrest and nothing was going to stop him: He ran his van over the officer's foot repeatedly while ramming the ICA vehicle blocking his way.

    Khairun escaped, but was caught the next day.

    On Tuesday, Khairun, 33, was sentenced to five years and three months' jail on five charges, including voluntarily causing grievous hurt and storing duty-unpaid goods.

    He was also given three strokes of the cane, fined $2,000 and disqualified from driving for three years.

    The incident took place on Oct 29 last year. A group of ICA officers on an enforcement mission found Khairun at a Jurong East carpark.

    Khairun refused to switch off his engine and moved his van forwards and backwards in a bid to shake off the officers.

    They used their batons to shatter the windows of the van and a rear view mirror.

    One even tried to reach into the van to remove the ignition key. When Khairun saw this, he took a 60cm-long black metal rod from inside the van and swung it at the officer.

    He hit the officer's right forearm, causing an open fracture.

    Another officer tried to open the door on the passenger's side.

    Unfazed, Khairun repeatedly moved the van back and forth, still hoping to make his escape. In the process of ramming the ICA car, Khairun ran over the officer's right foot multiple times.

    The officer's foot was stuck beneath the left front wheel, causing him to fall and land on his left knee.

    He had bruises on his right foot and left knee.

    Khairun managed to get away but he was arrested the next day in Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 with contraband cigarettes.

    Investigations revealed that he was hired by another Singaporean, Oh Thiam Huat, also known as Xiao Cai. Khairun was to work for a syndicate by delivering duty-unpaid cigarettes using a van.

    In return, he would receive $450 in cash and around 20 to 25 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes for each day he worked.

    To store the illegal cigarettes, Khairun hatched a plan with Oh. They tricked Khairun's father into registering a company at International Plaza so that they could rent a warehouse.

    Oh provided Khairun's father with a cash incentive of $500, so he agreed.

    The warehouse was then used to store more than 5,200 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes. According to court papers, excise duty on the cigarettes, which weighed 1,070kg, amounted to nearly $377,000.

    Khairun's lawyer, Mr Kea Cheng Han, told the court in mitigation that his client was a paid lackey and that he committed the crime to support his family, who have health and money problems.