Being arrested by the police for various offences in 2012 did not stop Mohamed Amir Mohamed Tafel from breaking the law again. Even after the jobless 31-year-old was charged in court last year, he continued his crime spree.
But his disregard for the law caught up with him yesterday when he was jailed for 40 months and ordered to receive six strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to 14 charges.
They were for seven counts of cheating, two counts each for drug-related offences and criminal breach of trust, and one count each for abetment by conspiracy to cheat, being in possession of a weapon and attempted cheating.
Twenty-eight other charges for similar offences were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kelvin Kow said the 42 charges involved losses totalling $12,417, and Mohamed Amir had not made any restitution to his victims. The authorities managed to recover only $400.
He even targeted his adoptive siblings, Sheikh Muhammad Zakaruddin Zulhilmi Yu Sheikh Md Ali, 17, and Ms Siti Nurzahirah Sheikh Md Ali, 18, in January 2012.
He borrowed their mobile phones and disappeared. About 10 days later, he sold the phones for $665 at a shop in Geylang.
The teenagers made a police report on Feb 12, and Mohamed Amir was arrested for the first time about three months later. While under investigation, he consumed Ice and left a black pouch containing the drug and drug utensils in a taxi on Nov 14, 2012.
The cabby handed the items over to the police, and Mohamed Amir was arrested for the second time on Dec 5.
In February last year, he committed cheating by using cheques that bounced to buy five sets of Quran electronic pens and two pieces of religious artwork worth $1,831.
He was charged in court on April 26 last year and released on $15,000 bail.
While out, he used more cheques that bounced to buy four baby strollers and four laptops, totalling $7,526.
He is believed to have sold some of the items and kept the proceeds. He was scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial conference on Dec 13 last year but absconded.
Mohamed Amir, who has tattooed forearms, was arrested for the third and final time on March 18 this year after police officers checked his bag at a bus stop in front of Block 83, Marine Parade Central and found a knuckle duster inside.
Pressing for 40 months' jail, DPP Kow told District Judge Salina Ishak that Mohamed Amir had been in and out of jail four times between 2003 and 2010 for offences such as desertion from the Singapore Civil Defence Force and using forged identity cards.
In mitigation, Mohamed Amir, who was not represented, pleaded for a shorter sentence and said his son is only 18 months old. For each count of cheating, he could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined.
This article was first published on July 24, 2014.
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