Conman jailed for faking accidents

A man who deliberately bumped against moving cars and then asked motorists for compensation was sentenced to 13 months' jail yesterday for attempted cheating and other offences. Tsai Swee Kiat, 34, had tried to cheat six people, three of whom gave him money out of pity or wanted to send him away as they were travelling with young children in the vehicles.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jordon Li said none was deceived as they were driving slowly within residential estates or carparks. Furthermore, some had also witnessed Tsai jumping onto their vehicles.

On Nov 27 last year, one of the drivers he had tried to scam, Mr Chin Chai Ren, saw Tsai talking to an elderly Malay couple at a sheltered walkway in Ang Mo Kio Street 31. Mr Chin recognised Tsai as the person who had accused him of knocking into him a day earlier.

Mr Chin called the police before advising the elderly couple not to give Tsai any money.

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Agitated, Tsai punched Mr Chin in the jaw, leaving a bruise.

In another incident on Dec 14, the court heard that Tsai jumped in front of Mr Toh Wei Keat's taxi and bumped against it as the driver was beginning to move off from Block 214, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.

When Mr Toh got out of his cab, Tsai claimed he had collided into him and asked for compensation. But the cabby refused, having seen Tsai jump in front of the vehicle.

On Jan 2, Tsai bumped into a car driven by Mr Tan Meng Hsiung in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 and demanded $100 to $150 as compensation. Mr Tan called the police.

When the police came, Tsai tried to leave. Resisting arrest, he threw a punch at Special Constabulary Sergeant Mohamed Idris Zakir Hussain. The victim suffered a contusion to the upper lip region and was given two days' sick leave.

Tsai admitted to two counts each of attempted cheating and causing hurt, and one of punching a policeman to deter him from discharging his duty. The second charge of causing hurt involved a dispute unrelated to the car scams.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2017, with the headline 'Conman jailed for faking accidents'. Print Edition | Subscribe