Cheating suspect 'conned over 30 cabbies'

A 42-year-old man was charged in court yesterday with cheating a taxi driver of $45 earlier this year.

At about 1.40pm on May 30, Muhammad Farib Hassan allegedly told taxi driver Loh Kim Swee that he was short of cash to pay for his food at the Haig Road Food Market. Believing his story, Mr Loh handed him $45.

Farib allegedly left and did not return to repay Mr Loh. It is not known if Farib had also taken Mr Loh's cab and if he paid the fare.

In a statement on Thursday, the police said Farib is believed to have cheated more than 30 taxi drivers in a similar way since May.

He either booked or flagged down the taxis, and directed them to stop at a food centre.

He would then ask to borrow $30 to $50 from the cabbies, claiming that he did not have enough money to pay for food.

He would then run off with the money, without paying the fare.

More charges may be pressed against Farib, who is now in remand. He was arrested at Block 180C Marsiling Road on Wednesday after officers from the Bedok Police Division conducted investigations and found out his identity.

The case against Farib, whose occupation is not known, will be heard in court again next Friday.

The penalty for cheating is jail of up to 10 years. Offenders are also liable to a fine.

Amir Hussain

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2015, with the headline 'Cheating suspect 'conned over 30 cabbies''. Print Edition | Subscribe