Jasmin Eyple, 33, hatched a plan in August last year: He and his friends would pose as Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers to steal contraband cigarettes from peddlers.
But the plan went up in smoke when the friends were attacked by a group of people who were armed with metal poles and wooden planks. A passer-by who heard the commotion called the police.
Yesterday, Jasmin was jailed for five weeks after pleading guilty to impersonating a public servant. One count of attempted theft was taken into consideration during sentencing. The cases involving five of his alleged accomplices are still pending.
On Aug 18 last year, Jasmin suggested to his friends that they go to the Sungei Kadut area to steal contraband cigarettes.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Li Yihong said: "He told the group that if he shouted 'ICA' while the peddlers were in the midst of their dealings, they would flee and leave the contraband cigarettes behind."
His friends allegedly agreed.
At around 11.10pm that day, the group drove to a carpark near Block 2B Woodlands Road. When one of them approached the sellers and asked to buy four cartons of cigarettes, Jasmin flashed his ez-link card and shouted: "ICA".
When the peddlers heard this, they grabbed their wares, climbed over a fence and ran into a forested area. But a group of unknown peopleattacked Jasmin's group.
For pretending to be an ICA officer, Jasmin could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.