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UOB officer from China stole S$95K from bank to gamble in Macau

A United Overseas Bank (UOB) bank officer from China who stole S$95,291.75 from his employer UOB was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months’ jail on Tuesday (Oct 11).

Hong Jing Guo, 33, a bank officer who handled customers’ enquiries on credit cards earn a cushy S$3,800 a month with Singapore bank UOB. In June 2014, the China national unlawfully accessed the computers of two managers in the bank to increase his UOB credit card limit to S$50,500 and credited refunds totaling S$9,300 to his bank account.

On 6 June 2014, Hong Jing Guo bought three gold bars at S$16,800 and sold them back to the shop for S$15,150 in cash. He repeated the same process four days later on 10 June 2014. The court hearing did not explain how he profited from the two transactions. However, these proceeds were used for Hong Jing Guo’s gambling trip to Macau.

The misdeeds were only discovered two months later on 28 August 2014, and the vice-president of the UOB human resource department reported him to the police.

UOB recovered only S$9,300 out of S$95,291.75 in restitution from Hong Jing Guo. The Singapore judge sentenced the China national to 3 years and 5 months’ jail for misuse of computer-related charges.


45-year-old blue Lambo driver arrested for dangerous driving, vehicle seized

The police have confirmed that a blue Lamborghini that was being towed belonged to a 45-year-old man who was arrested for dangerous driving.

The photos show the Lamborghini that was recklessly driven by the 45-year-old man on an expressway.
Stomp reader Edwin had alerted the website to a video of the incident, which took place the night before on Oct 1.

It shows the luxury car driver whizzing between and past two vehicles to overtake them.

The clip was uploaded on the Roads.sg Facebook page and credited to Facebook user Heng See Meng.

Voices expressing surprise and fear at the driver's actions can also be heard in the clip.



China National jump onto moving car to seek compensation

A 23-year-old China national caught on camera jumping onto a moving car in an attempt to seek compensation, suffered fractures to his thigh bones and a head concussion from the impact.

The incident took place along Sim Drive around 1.32pm on Wednesday (Oct 12) and video evidence was uploaded on Facebook page, Roads.sg.

Two dashboard camera recordings revealed that the China national deliberately timed his dash across the road while waiting at the curb beside a parked car.

Faking road accidents to seek compensation is a common practice in China. According to media reports, the China national is a work permit holder in Singapore.

It is unknown whether the driver will have to pay compensation to the victim, but a police report has been lodged. According to the driver, his newly-purchased 1-week-old car sustained repairs costing around S$1,000.

Jailed six weeks over not returning for NS duties

Elena Chong
Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016

Born in India, he became liable for national service when he was given Singapore citizenship at the age of four.

But he was out of Singapore for more than four years without a valid exit permit, and when the time came to do his duty, Jay Kamal Shah stayed on in India to complete his studies.

He surrendered only last year, and yesterday, the 22-year-old was jailed six weeks for remaining outside Singapore from Nov 3, 2010 to Dec 8, 2014 without permission.

He was given a one-week concurrent jail term for failing to enlist for national service in March last year. He did so only about two months later.

Shah graduated from college in India in 2012, and a Bachelor of Management Studies course last year.

His Singaporean mother had tried to apply for his national service deferment but this was rejected. She also e-mailed the authorities that she wished to renounce her son's Singapore citizenship.

Shah returned to Singapore on April 28 last year, and enlisted for national service about a month later.

His lawyer Rajan Supramaniam said in mitigation that Shah chose to wait until he had completed his examinations before returning to Singapore to surrender himself so that he would not be considered a "drop-out".

Urging the court to impose a fine, counsel said Shah had done well in national service, and may be considering a career in the army.

He also said Shah did not have the benefits and privileges of possessing a Singapore citizenship, having spent his entire life in India.

Shah could have been fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed for up to three years on each charge.

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Parcel scammers conned over 300 victims of $19 million

Two men jailed for being part of syndicate that posed as police officers from China

As of end-August, 348 people have fallen prey to a ruse commonly known as the "DHL parcel scam".
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Leong Wing Tuck told the court that the victims have lost more than $19 million in all.
He added: "This would not be the full picture as it can be expected that some victims would be reluctant to come forward to file reports."
To date, Singapore police have managed to arrest 12 people involved in the ruse and the first two were dealt with in court yesterday.
The cases for the remaining 10 are at the pre-trial stage.
Mohamad Afiq Ishak, 24, a Malaysian, was jailed 18 months after pleading guilty to one of three counts of money laundering. He allowed his bank account to receive $45,900 in criminal proceeds on July 27.
He was caught while trying to withdraw $12,600 that day.
Suhaimi Jaffar, 36, also a Malaysian, was jailed 20 months after pleading guilty to one of four counts of similar offences.
The court heard that $58,000 in criminal proceeds was transferred to his bank account on July 25.
Police arrested him after he tried to withdraw $46,300 from his account that day.
Victims of the scam would usually receive phone calls from fraudsters pretending to be police officers from China.
The imposters would claim they had intercepted parcels the victims had purportedly sent that contained illegal items.
The fraudsters would ask for their bank account details and personal identification numbers (PIN), supposedly to verify their identities.
The unsuspecting victims would comply out of fear, only to realise that their hard-earned cash had been siphoned away without permission.


The court heard that Afiq and Suhaimi were involved in a transnational syndicate that had a network of operators and runners in Malaysia.

In May, Suhaimi, who was in debt, met a man known only as Azmin.
He asked for Azmin's help and was told that to secure a loan, he had to open a bank account in Singapore. He agreed to do so on July 22.
Separately, Afiq was also roped in with the lure of making fast cash.
On July 21, a man known only as Tiger AP told him he could earn easy money by opening a bank account in Singapore, which Afiq did on July 22.
Tiger AP also told Afiq he would receive RM4,000 (S$1,300) for successfully withdrawing monies from the account.
Three days later, Chinese national Li Hong Mei, 37, received a call from someone pretending to be a police officer from China claiming that her parcel contained illegal materials.
She disclosed her personal details and PIN out of fear and later discovered that $32,600 was missing from her bank account.
Investigations revealed that the cash had been transferred to Suhaimi's bank account. Three other women were similarly duped in July.
One of them, Myanmar national Nan Mya Sein, 35, had $25,400 siphoned from her account to Suhaimi's.
The other two, Ms Ni Yaxian, 32, and Ms Yan Zhiqiang, 53, both Chinese nationals, had a total of $45,900 transferred from their bank accounts to Afiq's.
The monies will be returned to the four victims.
Afiq and Suhaimi, who were not represented by lawyers, pleaded for leniency yesterday.
However, DPP Leong urged District Judge May Mesenas to sentence each man to between 20 and 24 months' jail.
He said: "Singapore's reputation as a safe and crime-free environment has been painstakingly built through the diligence of its policymakers and law enforcement agencies.
"It must not be tarnished by opportunistic and avaricious criminals who see its residents as targets to be exploited."
For money-laundering, each man could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined up to $500,000.


Construction worker jailed 10 months for molesting woman in her own home

SINGAPORE: A construction worker was jailed 10 months on Thursday (Oct 20) for molesting a 28-year-old woman in her own home after he was sent to repair faulty window latches in the woman’s new flat.

The court heard that the victim and her husband moved into their new flat in October 2015, and on Oct 16 the woman visited the Housing and Development Board estate's Building Service Centre (BSC) to ask for help to repair faulty window latches in the unit. A BSC employee assigned Bangladeshi national Alam, 40, the job.

The woman brought Alam back to the unit, where he repaired the window latches and repainted parts of the windows in every room. He asked the woman to follow him into each room while he worked.

After completing his tasks, the two headed back to the living room where Alam started telling the victim stories about his work and personal life. While talking to her, Alam touched the shocked woman on her face and shoulder. She moved away but did not say anything to Alam.

He then told her to follow him into the master bedroom to watch him put lubricant on the window latch. She initially did, but later left the room to get her mobile phone. Alam followed her and caught her by surprise by hugging her from behind.

She moved away and told Alam not to do that, but he was undeterred and hugged her again, using his hands to squeeze her breasts.

The woman tried to push Alam away, but he continued to hug and touch her and told her he wanted to be friends. She suggested he write his name and mobile number on a piece of paper, which Alam did. He then suddenly hugged the woman again and kissed her on the lips, despite her efforts to move away.

Fearing for her safety, the woman managed to get Alam to leave the unit. However, he remained outside for at least 20 minutes, knocking on the front door and asking if they were still friends.

The woman called her husband and told him to come home immediately. However, she was “in a state of confusion and fear” and could only tell him what had happened the next day.

When her husband heard what had happened, he wanted to call the police, but she persuaded him not to as she did not want to encounter Alam again.

But she was unable to sleep that night, thinking of what had happened, and broke down in tears, the prosecution said. Her husband called the police on Oct 18, two days after the incident.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Eunice Lau urged the court to impose a jail term of 12 months with caning. Among other aggravating factors in the case, DPP Lau said Alam had made “persistent and unrelenting advances”, leaving the woman in fear and traumatised.

He had molested the woman, who was alone with him in the house, “in the sanctity of her own home”, the DPP said.

In court on Thursday, Alam cried and apologised for his actions. He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated molest for squeezing the woman’s breasts and kissing her as she tried unsuccessfully to push him away.

Another two charges for aggravated molest, for kissing the woman on the cheek and smacking her buttocks, were taken into consideration during sentencing.

For aggravated molest, he could have been jailed for up to two years and caned.

Two men jailed, fined for buying and selling duty-unpaid cigarettes via WeChat

Chinese nationals Bao Jiancao and Zhu Xingbing were fined and given jail sentences for buying and selling duty-unpaid cigarettes via WeChat.

Published Oct 21, 2016, 10:33 pm SGT
Melissa Lin

SINGAPORE - Two men who used Chinese social networking platform WeChat to buy and sell duty-unpaid cigarettes were sentenced in court on Friday.

Chinese nationals Bao Jiancao, 29, and Zhu Xingbing, 45, were arrested after Singapore Customs officers carried out two separate operations in Geylang and Woodlands on Tuesday (Oct 18).

Bao was given a jail term of three months and one week, while Zhu was slapped with a two months jail term and a $2,000 fine.

On Oct 18, officers who approached Bao outside a condominium in Lorong 39 Geylang found 12 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in his backpack. When they searched his rented room in the condominium, they found and seized 52 cartons and four opened packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

Earlier that day, they had searched the premises of a company in Woodlands Industrial Park and found 22 cartons and 17 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes in Zhu's sling bag and metal chest.

They later found another five packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes, including an opened packet, in Zhu's rented housing board flat in Woodlands.

Investigations revealed that Bao had been buying and selling duty-unpaid cigarettes via WeChat. Zhu, who sold duty-unpaid cigarettes to his colleagues and friends, had also bought his stock of duty-unpaid cigarettes via WeChat.

The seized cigarettes in both cases were of the Golden Deer brand, which is not available for sale publicly in Singapore.

The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) involved in the two cases amounted to more than $5,480 in Bao's case, and $2,050 in Zhu's case.

Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act.

Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, and/or jailed for up to six years.

The minimum fine for first-time and repeat offenders of tobacco-related offences

is $2,000 and $4,000 respectively. Repeat offenders who are caught with more than 2kg of tobacco products will also face mandatory jail sentences.



Man gets 2 years' jail, 3 strokes of the cane

A salesman, who was cycling late one evening last December, followed a woman he saw to her Housing Board block and later molested her.

Chen Bingwei, 28, got into lift with the 23-year-old woman, who pressed the third floor button on Dec 29 at 12.05am.

When the lift door opened, he told her the lift had reached her level and pushed her back lightly.

The woman walked out. After walking midway along the corridor, she heard someone calling her "sister" from behind in Mandarin.

She turned and saw Chen walking up to her. He asked if he could use her cellphone but she rejected him, saying the line had no value.

But he persisted. Sensing something was wrong, she decided to walk down the stairs heading to the ground floor.

Chen left his bicycle on the third floor lift lobby and followed the victim.

When she was at the staircase landing between the second and third floor, he pushed her towards the wall. She yelled but he covered her mouth with his hand.

He then told her not to shout and moved his hand into her top and her bra. He then grabbed her breasts.

Chen tried to move his hands into her shorts but could not as it was too tight. He then touched her again.

She struggled and shouted. After some time, Chen stopped what he was doing and told her that he only wanted to use her mobile phone. He then ran up the stairs to retrieve his bicycle, and left.

Shocked, the victim started to cry. Some of the neighbours came out of their flats and the victim called her husband, who took her home and called the police.

Chen was subsequently traced through closed-circuit television police camera footage. Investigations showed that he had been drinking alcohol before the offence was committed.

Chen, who had pleaded guilty to restraining the victim during the molestation, was sentenced to two years' jail and three strokes of the cane on Friday (Oct 21).

He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and caned.


Payal Devgan

All taxi drivers. Please beware of this lady.
She took taxi from Clifford center to a condo in Tanjong Rhu and left without paying the fare. She complained that the driver took long route and want to lodge a complain and refuse to pay and tried to run away.
The driver asked the security guard at the condo about her and he said she does not stay there.
Checked with the taxi company and the reply was no complain was lodged and obviously she is trying to take a free ride. Tried to make a police report and the police said they cannot do anything about it unless she repeats many times.
There is nothing that can be done so just want to make this post to warn other taxi fellows and also shame her. It's sad that there are such people taking advantage of others.


Maid gets two months' jail for hitting baby

Published Oct 27, 2016, 5:00 am SGT

Employer witnessed act on CCTV footage; accused says she was under stress from marital problems at the time

Elena Chong
Court Correspondent

A Filipino maid vented her frustrations from her personal life on her employer's youngest child, a baby boy, by hitting his face and feet.

The offence came to light when the 38-year-old domestic worker's employer viewed the live feeds of closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage on her mobile phone, wanting to see if her baby was awake.

The employer, a 39-year-old housewife with four children, saw the accused being violent to her baby on April 25. She made a police report five days later.

Yesterday, the accused was jailed for two months after pleading guilty to slapping the four-month- old once, using her index finger to push his face forcefully, slapping the soles of his feet and pushing him against the sofa, and shoving a towel in front of his mouth.

She cannot be named, so as to protect the identity of the victim.

Investigations showed the employer had left her baby in the accused's care at home while she took her daughter to a tuition class. The baby was asleep when they left.

While still out, the employer decided to view the live feeds on her mobile phone and witnessed her son being abused.

The accused admitted to subjecting the victim to physical abuse because she was taking out her frustrations on him.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Samuel Koh, who sought a jail sentence of two to three months, said she had abused the trust placed on her as a caregiver. She had vented her frustrations at the victim by ill-treating him even though the baby's parents, for whom she had worked for three years, had treated her very well.

DPP Koh said the accused had hit the defenceless baby on the vulnerable parts of his body, carrying out a series of distinct acts in quick succession.

Pleading for leniency, the maid said she is deeply remorseful and sought forgiveness from the court and her former employers.

"I committed this offence as I was under a lot of stress during that time due to some marital problem that I had with my husband," said the mother of four.

District Judge Low Wee Ping said a deterrent sentence is necessary to protect the very young and the elderly from abuse by caregivers.

The maximum penalty for the offence is a $4,000 fine and four years' jail.


Delivery driver jailed and banned for causing rider's death along CTE

Sun Jinlong was jailed for three weeks and banned from driving for five years on Thursday (Oct 27) for causing the death of a motorcyclist while overtaking him.

Published Oct 27, 2016, 1:12 pm SGT
Elena Chong
Court Correspondent

SINGAPORE - A delivery driver who caused the death of a motorcyclist while overtaking the rider along an expressway was jailed for three weeks and banned from driving for five years on Thursday (Oct 27).

Sun Jinlong, 36, a Chinese national, was driving a lorry when he caused the death of Mr Tan Kheng Hiok along Central Expressway (CTE) by doing a negligent act at about 11pm on March 20, 2015. He failed to keep a safe distance from the motorcycle when overtaking on the right, resulting in the lorry side-swiping the motorcycle and caused it to lose control and resulting in the 61-year-old's death.

The court heard that Sun was driving his vehicle on the second lane from the left of the CTE when he caught up with Mr Tan's motorcycle and was about two car lengths behind the machine.

Sun subsequently decided to overtake the motorcycle. He signalled to the right, stepped on the accelerator and increased his speed to about 65 to 70kmh. He started switching from the second lane of the four-lane expressway to the third lane.

At that point, he saw that there was another vehicle behind him at the third lane approaching his vehicle.

Instead of moving fully into the third lane while overtaking the motorcycle, he continued to travel in between the second and third lane and started to overtake the motorcycle.

He negligently failed to keep a safe distance away from Mr Tan's motorcycle. The left side of his lorry came into contact with the motorcycle. Mr Tan lost control and fell onto the road.

Mr Tan was taken unconscious to hospital where he died from head injury the following day.

Sun could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death by doing a negligent act.




2 Malaysian men arrested at Woodlands Checkpoint for smuggling $82,000 worth of drugs

The drug haul uncovered by ICA officers from under the seat of a Malaysia-registered motorcycle. PHOTO: ICA

Published Nov 2, 2016, 12:20 pm SGT

SINGAPORE - Two Malaysian men were arrested on Tuesday (Nov 1) at the Woodlands Checkpoint for attempting to bring in about $82,000 worth of drugs.

In a press release on Wednesday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said a motorcyclist and his pillion rider, both aged 24, were stopped by officers for further checks upon their arrival at the checkpoint at around 7am.

During the inspection, about 360g of Ice, 2,999 Erimin-5 tablets and 260 Ecstasy tablets were uncovered from under the seat of the Malaysia-registered motorcycle.

Both men were arrested and referred to the Central Narcotics Bureau for investigation.

Under the law, anyone convicted of trafficking in more than 250g of Ice, otherwise known as methamphetamine, may face the death penalty.



Man jailed 8 years for slitting estranged wife’s throat

[FONT=&amp]SINGAPORE: His estranged wife refused to let him in to see their one-year-old daughter, so he slit her throat on her doorstep.[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]Indian national Krishnan Karunakaran, 45, was sentenced to eight years’ jail and nine strokes of the cane on Friday (Nov 4) for attempted homicide and criminal intimidation.

[FONT=&amp]His estranged wife, 38-year-old teacher Boomichelvi Ramasamy, survived the life-threatening injury which severed her jugular vein.

[FONT=&amp]The couple’s relationship soured about a year after Krishnan moved to Singapore from India, where they had married in 2011.

[FONT=&amp]In October 2013, Madam Boomichelvi told Krishnan to move out of her Block 244 Hougang Street 22 flat, where she lived with their one-year-old daughter and her nine-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, as well as a domestic helper.

[FONT=&amp]When they met on Oct 26, Mdm Boomichelvi declined to help Krishnan extend his visa, and returned his passport to him.

[FONT=&amp]He followed her to her fifth-storey flat, wanting to see his daughter, but Mdm Boomichelvi closed the door on him.

[FONT=&amp]Krishnan bought a knife that night and lay in wait for her the next morning. When he spotted her in the lift, Krishnan barged in and pointed the knife at Mdm Boomichelvi’s stomach, demanding she let him see their daughter and help him to extend his visa.

[FONT=&amp]When the terrified woman screamed for help, Krishnan pulled her hair and warned her not to make any noise. He led her to the flat at knifepoint, and when he shouted at the domestic helper to open the gate, Mdm Boomichelvi shouted: “Don’t open!” angering Krishnan.

[FONT=&amp]He slit the woman’s throat in an ensuing struggle and shouted “Die!” before fleeing the scene.

[FONT=&amp]Mdm Boomichelvi’s nine-year-old daughter, who witnessed the attack, called the police, stating: “Got one guy kill my mother (sic).”
However Krishnan also called the police, saying he had stabbed his wife “accidentally” due to a “family problem”. “I was threatening her with knife and when she came near to hit me; the knife hit her neck,” he reported.

[FONT=&amp]Prosecutor Mohamed Faizal called for a nine-year jail term with nine strokes of the cane, saying it is “fortuitous” that Mdm Boomichelvi survived.

[FONT=&amp]However, she has to live with a scar, “a permanent reminder” of what happened. Three years on, the woman remains fearful of people coming too close to her and suffers sleepless nights, the court heard.

[FONT=&amp]DPP Faizal said there is no excuse for what Krishnan did. “Even though he felt aggrieved at not being granted access to his daughter, a clear message must be sent that such scores ought to be settled by recourse to law, not recourse to force.”

[FONT=&amp]Krishnan’s lawyer, Eugene Thuraisingam, who took on the case pro bono, pressed the court not to impose a jail term of more than four years.

[FONT=&amp]He said Krishnan had been “driven to his wits’ end” after being kept away from his daughter for months. He had no intention to kill and only wanted to threaten his wife with the knife, Mr Thuraisingam added.

[FONT=&amp]He also told the court that after the attack, Krishnan shouted “Die!” out of panic and not because he really wanted that as an outcome.

[FONT=&amp]For attempted culpable homicide, Krishnan could have been jailed for up to 15 years and caned.



Ex-NUS research fellow jailed four weeks for inflated transport claims

SINGAPORE - He had been at the National University of Singapore (NUS) for 12 years, was a senior research fellow and an environmental expert.

But that did not stop Durairaju Kumaran Raju, 50, from hatching a plan to recover money spent on himself and, on one occasion, guests he had entertained at various tourists attractions.

Between 2012 and 2014, he submitted five invoices to claim reimbursement for 309 transport hours when fewer hours had in fact been used. The inflated transport claims were to mitigate the other expenses.

But an NUS internal audit in March 2014 uncovered his ruse.

Durairaju, who was with the Tropical Marine Science Institute, was sentenced to four weeks' jail after pleading guilty to five charges of deceiving NUS by seeking claims. District Judge Lim Tse Haw had sentenced him to two weeks' jail on each charge with two of the terms to run consecutively.

In explaining the jail term in decision grounds issued on Wednesday (Nov 2), DJ Lim said public funds from various government agencies, including statutory boards were used to reimburse Durairaju.

Ravichandran Samikkanu, 51, the transport owner who provided the services, was jailed two weeks after pleading guilty for falsely inflating the hours on the invoices for Durairaju to forward to NUS.

Ten other charges were taken into consideration by the court which heard NUS had paid out $8,490 for transportation hours that were faked. The offenses were detected after NUS conducted an internal audit in March 2014.

DJ Lim said Durairaju may be entitled to be reimbursed for meal expenses but other items cited like tickets for tourist attractions for the foreign research fellows were expenses for which there was no avenue for reimbursement.

The judge added even for meal expenses, Durairaju had circumvented the controls emplaced by NUS, and there was nothing to prevent Durairaju from entertaining his foreign research fellows at expensive restaurants which may exceed what would have been reasonable meal expenses.Both men are out on bail and appealing the sentence.

An NUS spokesman said Friday (Nov 4) Durairaju's employment with the university ended in 2014.


Construction worker jailed 9 months for molesting 50-year-old tuition teacher at home

SINGAPORE - A 30-year-old construction worker was on Monday (Nov 7) given nine months' jail for molesting a 50-year-old tuition teacher.

Pitchai Pandiselvam, an Indian national, pleaded guilty to one charge of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a person.

A district court heard that the victim, a 50-year-old private tutor, engaged Pitchai's company for some works on the kitchen toilet in her flat. The works included hacking the walls and floor of the toilet.

Pitchai started carrying out the works at about 10am on Oct 19.

At about 12.45pm, the victim went to prepare her lunch in the kitchen.

Pitchai, who was resting outside the toilet, started a conversation with her.

He then walked towards her, stood on her left and placed his right arm around her shoulder.

Shocked, the victim shrugged his arm off. But the construction worker suddenly grabbed the victim's left breast for about two seconds.

She scolded him and he went back to his work in the toilet.

The victim made a police report at about 5pm the next day and Pitchai was arrested on Oct 21.

When questioned by police, he admitted grabbing the victim's breast as he found her attractive and was sexually aroused, the court heard.

For outrage of modesty, Pitchai could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or received any combined punishment.



Court convicts trio for misappropriating $875,133 from MBS casino

(From left) Shaikh Farid, lawyer Sarbrinder Singh and Shaikh Shabana Bi leave the State Court on Nov 7, 2016. PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Published Nov 7, 2016, 9:53 pm SGT
K.C. Vijayan
Senior Law Correspondent

SINGAPORE - Three casino patrons, all members of its loyalty programme, were found guilty and convicted on Monday (Nov 7) of misappropriating $875,133 from the Marina Bay Sands casino by a district judge who found the prosecution had proven all charges against them.

China national Ho Man Yuk, 37, and Indian nationals Shaikh Farid, 41, and Shaikh Shabana Bi, 33, had conspired to use free play credits which Ho Man Yuk was not entitled to, in order to play in the casino in April 2014.

Monday's open court verdict was in contrast to the 20-day trial heard in camera in periods over several months from July last year, involving nearly 30 witnesses, including two experts.

District Judge Luke Tan had ordered the trial sessions behind closed doors as the case was understood to involve sensitive information about the casino's operations.

Ho, a Hong Kong-based businesswoman, was found guilty of 20 additional charges under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes ( Confiscation of Benefits) Act (CDSA).

These included remitting sums from the proceeds to others and converting the cash into gaming chips on several occasions, involving a total value of $443,900.

Farid was also found guilty and convicted of 26 other charges under CDSA involving some $1.4 million which included using $100,000 used for gaming chips on April 19, 2014, and remitting $300,000 to one Cham Fui How the following day.

Shabana was convicted of three other charges under the CDSA, having transferred about $12,900 to three other persons from the proceeds.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Ang Siok Chen and Haniza Abnass had argued among other things, the CDSA charges related to benefits from the trio's criminal conduct in misappropriating the $875,133.

They added that the trio had obtained $875,133 by gambling with the free play credits at the Roulette Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs). The accused had detected an error in the system but instead of informing anyone, they had taken advantage to dishonestly download as many free play credits as possible and used them at EGMs to make nearly $1 million, and would have continued if not discovered by MBS, said the prosecution.

Farid and Shabana are self-employed company directors and shareholders.

All three, defended by Sanders Law LLC lawyer Sarbrinder Singh, had claimed trial to maintain their innocence, arguing they were not aware of a system glitch at the casino.

They denied knowing the free play credit was limited to $100 on Ho's membership account.

MBS had alleged a system error over seven days in 2014 in the free play credit and Sands Bonus Dollars package for eligible members had led to some $1.029 million wrongly credited to Ho, which was used to place wagers at the Roulette EGMs, which led to $875,133.56 being paid to her.

Ho claimed she was lucky and kept on winning while the other two denied conspiring with her to cheat MBS Casino.

All three were extended bail set at $20,000 each till sentencing, which the judge set for next month.

Ho,who was unable to post bail, was remanded.

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German exec gets 10 days' jail for punching taxi driver

Michael Fritsch punched a taxi driver in the forehead after refusing to ferry him on May 17, 2015.

Published 9 hours ago
Elena Chong
Court Correspondent

SINGAPORE - A German national who punched a taxi driver in the forehead was ticked off by a judge for his "deplorable"' conduct from start to finish.

District Judge Lim Tse Haw said a fine would not be appropriate for Michael Fritsch, 38, whose conduct in the incident was "nothing short of deplorable".

First, he said the 38-year-old head of business operations Asia Pacific region of T-Systems Singapore tried to cut queue and used his high income to try and justify his act of offering the taxi driver double what he earned.

"When the taxi driver refused to do so, you sat in the taxi. You refused to get out."

Judge Lim said even when the taxi driver finally agreed to ferry him, Fritsch made things difficult for him, leaving the driver with no choice but to call the police.

The judge found hardly any mitigating factors in the case, but noted his guilty plea, albeit late, his letter of apology and compensation to the taxi driver.

"I am of the view that the starting point for such a case is an imprisonment term of four weeks, but I am bringing down the prison term. I hope you have learnt your lesson in this incident and never ever to resort to violence against anyone, let alone a public transport worker. I am of the view that the custodial threshold has been crossed," he said.

He sentenced Fritsch to 10 days' jail for punching Mr Low Chong Peng, 52, leaving the cab driver with a swelling on his forehead.

The incident took place inside Mr Low' s cab along Kim Seng Road at 4.33am on May 17, 2015.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Lu Jia said Fritsch and his friend had had many glasses of beer with his friend by the time they left Zouk at Jiak Kim Street around 4am. Along Kim Seng Road, a couple approached Mr Low's cab which was in the queue for passengers. But before they could board it, Fritsch entered the car while his 41-year-old friend stood outside.

Fritsch told Mr Low to take him to Balestier. The driver refused and told him to get out of the car, saying that the couple had got to his taxi before him.

"The accused then replied that the victim should fetch him as he pays $40,000 in taxes to the Singapore government every year and he should therefore have the first priority,'' said DPP Teo.

Fritsch refused to get out of his vehicle and when Mr Low finally agreed to take him to his destination, Fritsch refused to give him the details. When Mr Low turned around to inform the German that he was calling the police, Fritsch punched him before alighting.

Fritsch was arrested five days later.

Last month, he paid Mr Low $1,675 in compensation and handed over a letter of apology.

The maximum punishment for causing hurt is two years' jail and a $5,000 fine.


Man who raped maid twice gets jail, caning

Selina Lum
Tuesday, Nov 15, 2016

A 45-year-old man who raped his domestic worker from Myanmar twice in a period of six hours at his Pasir Ris flat was yesterday sentenced to 13 years' jail and 20 strokes of the cane.

In sentencing the alcohol distributor, Justice Chan Seng Onn said his actions were "reprehensible" but noted that he did not use violence, which would have attracted a higher sentence.

The Singapore permanent resident from Malaysia was released on bail of $70,000 as he is appealing against his conviction.

He is not named as a court order bars the publication of information that can lead to the identification of the 35-year-old victim, who started working for his family in July 2013.

The man was charged with two counts of raping his domestic worker, at 2.40am and 7am on Dec 20, 2013, while his wife and two children were in Hong Kong for a holiday.

The prosecution's case is that after a night of drinking with friends, the accused returned home in the early hours, called for the maid and when she came out of her room, pulled her to his bedroom, where he raped her.

The maid testified that after the rape, she washed herself and cried in her room. She rang a compatriot who was working in Singapore but he did not pick up, so she sent him a text message.

Unsure what to do next, she embarked on housework.

When the accused awoke after a few hours, he went to the kitchen where she was washing clothes, pulled her into his bedroom and once again raped her.

The maid testified she then put on fresh clothes and went to cook rice and iron clothes, things she would not normally do at that time of morning, except that she felt "unstable".

After the accused had left the flat, she called the acquaintance, who told her to call the police.

The accused, who pleaded not guilty to both charges, contends he had consensual sex with the maid.

He is now divorced from his wife.

In September, after a seven-day trial, Justice Chan convicted him of both charges after accepting the maid's testimony that she had not consented to having sex with the accused.

Yesterday, the prosecution sought a sentence of 15 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for the accused.

"The victim was forced to undergo the full gamut of emotional turmoil and trauma... not once but twice," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan.

He argued that the accused was able to prey on the victim precisely because of his position as her employer.

The man's lawyer, Sunil Sudheesan, argued that his client's conviction represented a "marked departure" from his usual character. He asked for 11 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane.

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