A 35-year-old man posed as a professional photographer to coerce young female victims into giving in to his sexual demands and/or giving him money.
The Singapore Police Force said that since November 2009, two such cases were reported. In these cases, the suspect had befriended two 20 year-old female victims online and led them to believe that he would pay them for modeling assignments.
When the suspect met up with the victims, he would request them to undress and pose in revealing photo shoots. At the end of the photo-shoot, the suspect would renege on his promise to pay the victims or assist them in securing modeling assignments. In addition, he would threaten to post compromising photos of the victim on the Internet if the victims did not give in to his sexual demands or give him money.
The culprit had remained elusive and could not be easily traced. However, through protracted enquiries and investigative follow-up, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division managed to arrest the culprit at Kitchener Road on 2 Feb 2010.
The suspect will be charged in Court on 4 Feb 2010 for cheating and criminal intimidation under the Penal Code. A Court Order will be sought to remand him for further investigations. Cheating carries a maximum jail term of 10 years imprisonment and shall be liable to a fine; while criminal intimidation carries a maximum jail term of two years or a fine or with both.
The Police advise members of the public to be wary of meeting strangers whom they befriend on the Internet and to report the matter to the Police immediately if they should sense anything amiss.
Police believe there could be more victims who have fallen prey to this scam and urge the victims to lodge a Police report if they have not done so.