Conman cheats electronic shops of laptops and other items worth $135,000

A polytechnic student, who committed a series of cheating and forgery offences, while on probation was sentenced to 22 months' jail on Friday. Suraj Kumar Sarabajeet, 22, admitted to 10 charges - three forgery for the purpose of cheating, one forgery, four for converting the benefits of criminal conduct and two for cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.

A district court heard that Suraj posed as Captain Vincent Toh, from the Singapore Armed Forces, in January last year to order laptops on credit from Sapura Synergy Singapore and Multimedia Integrated on behalf of HQ Armour.

He sent them e-mails using the e-mail account "'' and attached purported Mindef Singapore purchase orders from Toh. The goods, worth $28,844 and $15,230 respectively, were sold to him on credit.

In March last year, he he impersonated as one John Mackenzie from Federal Express to order 27 iPads, iPhones and laptops totalling $41,111 from Epicentre. The next day he sold 21 of the items to a shop in Coleman Street for $22,670, and the remaining items to two unknown dealers for $9,500. Suraj also sold the laptops he received from Sapura and Multimedia to others.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sanjiv Vaswani argued that a deterrent jail sentence was warranted having regard to the aggravated factors present.

He said Suraj had committed the current 24 charges while on probation. He was placed on probation on Nov 3, 2011 and re-offended by committing the first in the current series on Dec 29 the same year, less than two months after his probation order.

He also submitted that Suraj displayed a propensity to commit similar offences, and the total amount involved was $135,772. He has only made restitution of $30,126.