Man impersonated cop as excuse to obtain contact details of prostitutes; jailed for ruse

SINGAPORE - He wanted an excuse to obtain the contact details of prostitutes, and hopefully call them back for cheap sex at a later date.

So Yusri Abdul Wahab, who had dreamed of one day joining law enforcement, decided to impersonate a police officer and conduct checks on sex workers in Geylang.

At about 10pm on May 7 last year, he entered a room in Lorong 22 Geylang containing about 10 prostitutes, flashed a makeshift police pass, and asked to see their work permits. He made a show of checking the documents, all the while speaking into his earpiece and pretending to speak to a "colleague".

Someone grew suspicious, and called the police.

On Wednesday, he was jailed for four months for the offence. His total term comes to eight months, after including punishment for stealing camera equipment during his real job as a pest control officer.

No restitution has been made for the thefts, which involved almost $32,000 of items and got Yusri sacked. These were committed on four occasions between January and May 8 last year, at two private homes in Swettenham Road near Queenstown.

Yusri came up with the policeman ruse after taking medical leave from his real job.

The court heard he had been inspired by a television show, in which a character had hatched a similar ploy.

To carry out the plan, Yusri bought police paraphernalia from Peninsula Shopping Centre, including a leather pass holder and various logos to attach to his polo t-shirt. He had a photograph of himself taken and inserted it into the pass holder.

District Judge Low Wee Ping called Yusri's impersonation "shocking", noting he had gone to the extent of buying items to perpetuate the deception.

Yusri pleaded guilty to three charges in all, with another two taken into consideration. For impersonating a police officer, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.