Impersonating a police officer, Selvam Pandiarajan targeted fellow foreigners for money.
One way was to look out for couples behaving intimately in parks.
After taking pictures of them, the Indian national, who worked as a construction worker here, would show them a fake police pass, threaten to report them to their employers and extort money from them.
Between January 2014 and October last year, he took at least $2,560 from 16 victims.
The law finally caught up with him after a victim made a police report.
Yesterday, Selvam, 27, was jailed for two years.
Court papers showed he hatched his plan to scam victims - particularly couples - in 2013. His hunting ground was a park near Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8.
On Christmas Day in 2014, he approached a couple who were behaving intimately. He showed them a fake police pass with a logo and claimed to be a police officer.
Selvam claimed the couple were allowed to hug and kiss, but the man was not allowed to touch his girlfriend's breasts in public.
He took photos of their work permits and claimed he would take them to the police station unless they handed him $300.
Selvam used a similar modus operandi on at least five other couples.
In January 2015, he photographed a couple kissing at the park then confronted them.
He claimed they should not be kissing in public and he made each of them hand over $300.
He also cheated two other foreign nationals.
Selvam lied to one man that he had committed an offence by smoking in the park.
To the other, Selvam claimed he had committed a crime by staying out late at night.
Selvam was arrested in October.
He had spent all the money on his daily expenses.
Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to eight counts of cheating by impersonation, with 17 other charges taken into consideration.
Lies, lies, lies
WHEN: Oct 19, 2014
LIE: Selvam Pandiarajan claimed that the victim was not to stay out late at night as residents had complained about couples loitering in the area.
AMOUNT EXTORTED: $130
VICTIMS #2 AND #3
WHEN: Dec 25, 2014
LIE: Selvam told the man that he was not allowed to touch his girlfriend's breasts in public.
AMOUNT EXTORTED: $300
WHEN: Dec 25, 2014
LIE: Selvam told the victim he could be fined for smoking in the park.
AMOUNT EXTORTED: $50
VICTIMS #5 AND #6
WHEN: Jan 25, 2015
LIE: Selvam told the couple that they should not be kissing in public.
AMOUNT EXTORTED: $600
VICTIMS #7 AND #8
WHEN: Sept 20, 2015
LIE: Selvam told the couple that they were not supposed to be at the park after 7pm.
AMOUNT EXTORTED: $500
This article was first published on Feb 13, 2016.
Get The New Paper for more stories.