Man used tryst with male teacher to extort $197k

Vincent Ng had threatened to disclose his homosexual encounter with the teacher to the MOE and the teacher's school.
Vincent Ng had threatened to disclose his homosexual encounter with the teacher to the MOE and the teacher's school.

He also extorted about $52,000 in valuables from victim who feared he would lose his job

A man extorted $197,000 in cash and about $52,000 in valuables - including four Chanel bags and a Rolex watch - from a male teacher in exchange for his silence about their sexual encounter, a district court heard yesterday.

In the dock was Vincent Ng Hian Gee, 35, who works in sales. He admitted to one charge of extorting $70,000 and a Chanel bag worth $3,900 from the 45-year-old teacher in September 2013.

Ng, who will have seven remaining charges taken into consideration when he is sentenced on Feb 15, had threatened to disclose their sexual encounter to the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the teacher's school.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Wuan told District Judge John Ng that the duo came to know each other through a Web portal in late August that year.

In early September, the teacher, who cannot be named, invited Ng to his house, where they had sex.

Later, Ng found out the teacher's occupation and started sending text messages to harass him.

Ng demanded large sums of money and threatened to report their encounter to the ministry and the teacher's school.

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

On Sept 20, Ng asked to meet the teacher and threatened again to go to his workplace and report the matter to the MOE.

The teacher agreed to meet Ng, who asked for $65,000.

The two went to DBS Telepark in Tampines Central, 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. The court heard that Ng gambled away the money at a casino.

He has since paid back $24,000 and returned a Rolex watch, gold chain and gold pendant. His lawyer, Mr James Ow Yong, asked the judge to defer sentencing until after the Chinese New Year as Ng wanted to spend time with his mother, who is ill.

The maximum punishment is seven years' jail and caning.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2016, with the headline 'Man used tryst with male teacher to extort $197k'. Print Edition | Subscribe