An Indian businessman, who owns a well-known biryani restaurant in Singapore, was on Monday sentenced to six years of jail and six strokes of the cane, nearly five years after conspiring to have the face of a friend-turned-foe slashed after he started selling the same delicacies next door, according to media reports.
Zackeer Abbass Khan, 49, who owns the Zam Zam restaurant was found guilty after a long-running trial of conspiring with several others to have Victory restaurant supervisor Liakath Ali Mohamed Ibrahim slashed and scarred in 2015 for selling the same delicacies next door, Channel News Asia reported.
Before sentencing Zackeer, District Judge Mathew Joseph said the case was a reminder that one should not allow one's anger to cloud one's judgment as the "resulting consequences can be severe."
The judge also said there was no place in our society for gratuitous violence, The Straits Times reported.
While Zackeer has been jailed, he intends to appeal, his lawyer said.
Zackeer had instructed business associate and long-time friend Anwer Ambiya Kadir Maideen, 50, to attack on Liakath for selling the same delicacies next door.
Anwer, also an Indian-origin, the middleman in the scheme, was given five-and-a-half years' jail, Channel News Asia reported.
He had hired secret society (gang) member Joshua Navindran Surainthiran, an Indian-origin, to attack Liakath on the face with a knife on August 26, 2015, for 1,700 Singapore dollars, the report said.
Joshua was jailed for six-and-a-half years and six strokes of the cane for the slashing and other offences in November 2016.
Both Zackeer and Anwer were found guilty of a charge of conspiring to cause grievous hurt to Liakath, who was left with a permanent scar, the report said.
Zackeer was convicted of another charge of criminal intimidation for threatening the victim, saying: "I see how you will work here and within one week I will either hit or kill you."
Anwer pleaded guilty on Monday to one additional charge of being a member of a secret society, with two other similar charges taken into consideration.
He had joined the gang in 1990 and was a "fighter" there. Judge Joseph then sentenced him to a total of 5½ years' jail, The Straits Times reported.
The court heard that after the business failed, Mr Liakath joined Victory Restaurant in 2014 and created problems for Zam Zam by pulling customers away and reporting its staff to the authorities.
After the business failed, Zackeer blamed the victim for being "cheated" of 80,000 Singapore dollars and tensions increased after the Liakath joined the rival Victory restaurant.
Allegations were tossed back and forth of customers being pulled away, and things came to a head on August 22, 2015, when the police went to both restaurants in North Bridge Road to advise them to stop touting.
Four days later, Joshua slashed Liakath on the face.
For his involvement, he was sentenced to six-and-a-half years' jail and six strokes of the cane in 2016, after pleading guilty to several charges.
On Monday, the court granted Anwer his request to defer the sentence as he needed to arrange for someone to take over his restaurant business, which has been "suffering" because of COVID-19 pandemic.