Bogus pilot jailed for cheating women of $8,500

A self-employed man who passed himself off as a pilot and deceived women of various sums of money was jailed for 19 months on Thursday. Ko Siong Keng, 56, faced 17 charges with most charges related to cheating his six victims of a total of $8,478 plus forging a pilot pass purportedly issued by Singapore Airlines.

He pleaded guilty last month to four counts of cheating two women of a total of $3,900 between 2010 and 2011 and forgery. A district court heard that he conned the women after he was caught in 2009 for forging an SIA pilot pass.

Mr Alan Ho Kiang Fui, an SIA pilot, called the police on April 27 that year after seeing a man wearing a uniform resembling an SIA pilot at Ikea building on Alexandra Road. When asked by police if he was a pilot, Ko produced a pilot pass which Mr Ho confirmed was a fake.

Ko, the court heard, had made the pass at his Flora Road home two years earlier by using the Microsoft Powerpoint program. He copied the SIA logo and name from the Yahoo website.Investigation showed that he befriended various women through online dating sites and chatrooms. He represented to them that he was an SIA pilot and went out with them dressed in a pilot's uniform.

On March 25, 2010 he deceived his victim, Ms Lai Lee Fen, of $600 by making her believe that he wanted to bring his mother for a medical check-up. Two days later he cheated her of two more sums of $1,500 and $1,200.

In July 2011, he deceived Ms Grace Luciana Lee Yanzhen of $600 outside Park Mall at Penang Lane. He told her that he was going to fly to London and needed $500 as travel expenses for the next five days.

Ko, who has previous convictions for cheating and theft, has made full restitution.