Man extorted $197,000 in cash and $51,900 worth of valuables from teacher

Vincent Ng Hian Gee threatened to expose his trysts with a teacher to the Ministry of Education and the man's school.
Vincent Ng Hian Gee threatened to expose his trysts with a teacher to the Ministry of Education and the man's school.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A 35-year-old man, who had a sexual relationship with a male teacher, extorted $197,000 in cash and about $52,000 in valuables from him in exchange for his silence, a district court heard on Tuesday (Jan 12).

Vincent Ng Hian Gee, who is in sales, admitted to one of eight extortion charges.

He intentionally put the 45-year-old teacher in fear of harm to his reputation on Sept 20, 2013, by threatening via text messages to expose their trysts to the Ministry of Education and his school, and dishonestly induced him to deliver $70,000 and a Chanel bag worth $3,900.

The teacher cannot be named because of a gag order.

Seven other similar charges, which involve property such as a Rolex watch and three Chanel handbags, will be taken into consideration when Ng is sentenced on Feb 15.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Wuan said some time in late August 2013, the teacher met Ng through an online Web portal.

The teacher invited Ng to his house some time in early September that year. There, the two engaged in homosexual acts.

Later, Ng found out the teacher's occupation through the Internet. He then started sending text messages to harass the teacher. Ng demanded that the teacher give him large sums of money to "compensate'' him, and threatened that he would otherwise report their homosexual relationship to the ministry and his school.

Fearing for his reputation and worried that he would lose his job, the teacher gave in to Ng's demands.

On Sept 20 that year, Ng sent text messages to the teacher again to meet up. The teacher tried to ignore the messages but Ng was persistent and threatened to go to the victim's workplace and report the matter to the MOE.

Ng also warned him against making a police report. As the teacher feared for his reputation and career, he agreed to meet Ng, who asked for $65,000 and a "gift for his mother''.

The two went to Tampines Central DBS Telepark where the teacher withdrew $60,000 and handed it to Ng. They then went to the Chanel outlet at Marina Bay Sands where Ng chose a bag worth $3,900. The teacher paid for it.

He also transferred two sums of $5,000 over two days to Ng's bank account.

Ng admitted during investigation to having gambled away the money at a casino. To date, he has paid back $24,000, and returned the Rolex watch, gold chain and gold pendant.

His lawyer James Ow Yong asked District Judge John Ng to defer sentence until after the Chinese New Year as his client wishes to spend time with his critically ill mother.

The maximum punishment is seven years' jail and caning.