Cabby jailed for demanding $10k for intimate photos

Cabby jailed for demanding $10k for intimate photos
Rafee, arriving at the State Courts yesterday, was sentenced to four months’ jail after admitting to criminal intimidation.

A cabby, who found intimate photographs of a couple on a phone mistakenly left in his taxi by a passenger, used them to threaten the owner's brother into giving him $10,000.

Mohamed Rafee Abdul Rahman, 33, tried to get the money from Mr Zayed Moyeen in return for not posting on YouTube images of his student brother Omar and his fiancee in their underwear.

Rafee was sentenced to four months' jail yesterday after admitting to criminal intimidation, but is appealing.

District Judge Lim Keng Yeow said the crime was committed in a "grossly reprehensible" manner and the jail term imposed should not be "insignificant".

The court heard that after Rafee had picked up Mr Omar, 26, from Changi Airport in the early hours of Jan 12, a couple who later took the same taxi found his phone and handed it to the cabby.

After finding the intimate pictures, Rafee used apps on the phone and sent the photographs to several people including Mr Omar's fiancee and mother.

Rafee threatened his 27-year-old brother Zayed, an Indian national who was in Bangladesh at the time, saying he wanted $1,000 for each of the 10 pictures not to be posted online.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Eunice Lau said that Rafee demanded Mr Zayed pay him by 10pm that day.

When he did not receive a cent, Rafee accused Mr Zayed of cheating and posted a video on YouTube showing Mr Omar and his fiancee embracing and kissing, then forwarded him a link to the clip.

Mr Omar made a police report after his fiancee told him that she had received a set of intimate photographs of them together.

Rafee, whose contract was terminated by his taxi company, was arrested at his home in Bedok Reservoir Road the next day.

A charge of misappropriating the $900 HTC phone was considered by Judge Lim, who said Rafee had acted in "flagrant breach of honour and care" which had been expected of him as a taxi driver.

The maximum penalty for criminal intimidation is two years' jail and a fine.

This article was first published on May 24, 2014.
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