Woman jailed for tour package scams

Woman jailed for tour package scams

A woman posing as a tour agent offered bargain-basement prices for trips, flights and goods that never materialised, conning customers of $80,000 last year.

Kaveena Jayakumar, 36, was jailed for 57 months by a district court, which found her guilty of five cheating charges, with five additional charges taken into account.

Last year in September, she conned one victim into paying almost $22,000 for 13 travel packages that were not delivered.

The same year, in August, she pocketed the money a couple paid for a weekend stay at a Sentosa Cove hotel.

And last May, she duped Danish national Thomsen Gitte into parting with almost $14,000 for airline tickets and tour packages to Batam, Bangkok, Denmark and Spain.

She also conned Ms Gitte into paying another $8,280 for several iPads, computers and iPhones that she said she would get at a discount.

Three other charges involved travel packages worth about $15,000 for trips to Niseko in Japan, London and Paris.

On top of that, Kaveena issued three cheques for $31,000 for goods and services, which bounced.

Ms Tan S.Y., who was duped into paying Kaveena $3,243 for a weekend stay for her family at the five-star W Singapore-Sentosa Cove hotel last August, said that she would no longer be enticed by big discounts.

"I prefer now to pay the usual rates. I think it is safer to book by going to a travel or tour office rather than to transact via e-mail, as in this case," she said.

The hotel told The Straits Times that it had refunded the bill charged to Ms Tan's husband's credit card as a goodwill gesture after finding out she had been tricked.

On Friday last week, the court ordered that three of the five sentences for the five charges run consecutively.

It means Kaveena will spend 36 months behind bars, after the sentence was backdated to last October, when she was first remanded.

vijayan@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 24, 2014.
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