Trio pose as cops to rob masseuse

PHOTO: The Straits Times

They managed to do that and also stole whatever mobile phones they could get from her home.

The one mobile phone they didn't take was the one she was holding on to - which she used to call the cops.

And that led to their downfall.

Hideyoshi Tanaka, 28, was yesterday jailed 14 months for robbing the woman with his two friends, Rigel Douglas Wong, 24, and Gabriel Foo Junxian, 20.

On March 31 last year, they hatched a plan to rob illegal prostitutes.

Wong took down about eight to 10 contact numbers of prostitutes from a website and called them on his mobile phone.

The only prostitute who was available operated out of Chinatown, and the trio made their way there from an Internet gaming cafe in Paya Lebar.

Along the way, Wong said he would enter the house first while Foo and Tanaka would rush in after him.

But the woman then said she was not free.

Wong suggested that they rob random people on the street instead.

Then, another woman, the 35-year-old victim who worked in Balestier, called to say she was available.

The men headed to her house at 11, Pome Road, off Balestier Road, where she worked as a masseuse.

At about 2am on April 1, Wong called her and said he was outside.

When she opened the door and saw three men, she only let Wong in before quickly shutting the door.

Wong then claimed he had to pass money to his friends outside and left the house.

This time, Foo was to enter the house first and pretend to request for massage services.

He was to flash his ITE identification pass and pose as a police officer so they could ransack the apartment.

When she looked through the window and confirmed that Foo was alone, she opened the door to let him in. Wong and Tanaka then rushed in.

Wong punched her face several times.

Foo also pushed her in the face to make her sit on a sofa, showing her his ITE identification pass and claiming to be a cop.

The men took a Samsung S3 mobile phone, a Nokia mobile phone, an iPad Mini, a Samsung S4 mobile phone, an iPhone 4 and about $300 in cash from the unit.

MOBILE PHONE

But the woman still had her mobile phone, which she used to call the cops and the three fled the unit.

They sold the items at a second-hand shop in Geylang hours later.

Foo was arrested that day and Tanaka was arrested on April 10.

Wong is still at large.

In mitigation, Tanaka's lawyer Sadhana Rai, who represented him pro bono, said her client did not lay a finger on the victim and noted that he did not take any of the proceeds from the sale of the loot.

He was jailed 14 months. The sentence was backdated to June 10.

Foo's case is still pending.

lawsm@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Jan 29, 2016.
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