Three China nationals who duped a woman of $10,000 by claiming that she could earn a profit by buying and selling computer parts were each jailed for 10 months yesterday.
A fourth man was given four months in prison for receiving stolen cash of $1,000 from the other three. All four had flown in from Shenzhen, China, in January this year. Li Qiangqing, 53, Zhu Zhaozong, 49, and Wei Shuihong, 50, had cheated housewife Lye Ah Mui, 62; while Wei Wendong, 49, was given the lower sentence.
The court heard that Wei Shuihong had pretended to ask Madam Lye for directions on Jan 13. While they were talking, he "dropped" one of the electronic parts. Zhu showed up and asked Wei Shuihong what the product was. The latter claimed it was a valuable computer part which he was selling for $50 apiece. Then Li joined in and told Zhu he was willing to buy the parts at $80 each. Zhu told Madam Lye he wanted to buy 800 of the items but did not have enough money, and he asked Madam Lye if she wanted to chip in. She agreed.
After the money was handed over, she was told to wait for Li at a void deck, where he would pay her. When Li did not show up, she realised she had been duped and told the police.
Police arrested them two days later.
District Judge Victor Yeo said a clear message must be sent to deter like-minded offenders from coming to Singapore to commit crimes, especially towards vulnerable victims.
The maximum penalty for cheating is 10 years' jail and a fine. For receiving stolen property, the maximum is five years and a fine.
This article was first published on Mar 18, 2015.
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