Jail, cane for man who ran scam on telco subscriptions

He lied to victims that they would not need to pay any bills after handing over devices to him

A conman who ran a scam that cheated people out of more than $100,000 worth of electronic devices was sentenced to jail and caning for that and other offences yesterday.

Ang See Seng, 33, was given 81 months' jail and six strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to 20 charges, which included possession of a knuckleduster.

A total of 145 other charges were considered in sentencing.

He and his accomplices cheated about 50 people of 101 electronic devices worth $106,521 over 11 months from December 2014 to November 2015.

Along with other cheating offences, he received a total of $170,835 worth of goods and services, the court heard.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tow Chew Chi told District Judge Jasvender Kaur that Ang's scam involved convincing people to sign up for mobile subscription plans and obtaining the subsidised devices on his behalf.

His victims would be told that they would receive a payment for their help and would not have to worry about paying the monthly telco bills or other sign-up costs.

  • 81

    Jail term in months for Ang See Seng.

    6

    Strokes of the cane.

But after handing over the devices, many found that they were still on the hook for the bills.

DPP Tow said some of these victims, after discovering that they were cheated by Ang, decided to join his scam and cheat other victims using similar methods. He had up to 11 purported accomplices in his cheating scam.

After receiving the devices from these victims, Ang and some accomplices would use them to buy game credits that they would sell online, thus chalking up further costs on the bills.

Victims would receive the bills and be surprised they had to shoulder the subscription costs and the cost of the game credits despite what they were led to believe.

In an unrelated case, Ang was arrested at his home in Yishun for possession of methamphetamine - he also struggled and bit the arresting officer on the forearm as the corporal was trying to handcuff him on May 28 last year.

In mitigation, Ang's lawyer Alice Tan said her client, who is married with two young daughters, had been under foster care from a young age. After his release from prison in 2009, he promised to turn over a new leaf when he got married and became a father.

The lawyer said he worked hard for the family, and was faring well until he fell on desperate times and resorted to the offences.

Ang, who had had previous convictions for various offences since 2000, could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each count of cheating.

For causing hurt to a police officer, he could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, caned or received a combined punishment.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2017, with the headline 'Jail, cane for man who ran scam on telco subscriptions'. Print Edition | Subscribe