A Malaysian man was sentenced to 22 months of imprisonment on Thursday. He pleaded guilty to cheating offences in January 2013 but, illegally escaped from the country via speedboat about two months later.
Police caught the accused, Tay Chee Boon, in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 4, 2017 and sent him to Singapore, where he pleaded guilty for the second time. He admitted to three counts of cheating charges that involved $16,750. He also faced charges for leaving Singapore illegally from an unauthorised place of embarkation and departure.
During the hearing, the court heard that along with 29-year-old Tay and his three accomplices, Lee Hao Yi, Gan Ee Sing and Lee Hao Ren, were involved in a lucky-draw scam, which was based in Singapore as well as Johor Baru.
Reports said that Tay worked for an organization, which was situated at Johor Baru. It had runners who told their clients that they can win a car if they took part in the draw event. The Deputy Public Prosecutor Tow Chew Chi told the court that such prize did not exist.
The court also heard that Tay would ask the victims to open fictitious lucky-draw vouchers, which he had received from the organization and convince the victims that they had won or might win a lucky draw.
The DPP said that the victims are asked to follow the accused back "to the organisation's premises, where other runners would continue to deceive the victim into believing that the prize might be a car."
He said that the victims are asked to pay some money to secure the vehicle and if the victim had to go to Singapore to take money, then the accused would accompany them. In addition, he said that the fraud organization had drivers to transport the victims to Singapore, after which they would then return to Johor Baru to hand over the money.
Reports showed that in May 2012, Tay along with his accomplices have conned two people by making them withdrew a total of $16,750 from Singapore that organization later received. As result of trapping each victim in the fake lucky-draw event, Tay has earned RM50.
All the four accused of this cheating case were nabbed by the police in Singapore on June 18, 2012, after the son of a potential victim revealed the reality behind the lucky-draw.
Tay was out on bail after pleading guilty in the court on January 15, 2013, but somewhere in between March 15 and April 12 in the same year, he had discussed his escape plan with Lee Hao Yi and Gan.
Later, three of them went to Changi Village, which is an illegal place for embarkation, boarded a speedboat and went to Malaysia. Tay's companion Gan was sentenced to 27 months' of imprisonment. Sentencing is pending for Lee Hao Yi and Lee Hao Ren.