SINGAPORE - A man who posed as a policeman and tried to trick a Chinese national into handing him $6,000 was sentenced to three weeks' jail on Tuesday (June 28).
Sherman Lim Chiang Khai is appealing, and was offered bail of $20,000.
The 29-year-old had pleaded guilty to pretending to be a policeman to Ms Liang Yan, 29, at her unit in Balestier Road on Oct 23 last year.
He also admitted to fraudulently having a mobile phone and was fined $1,500.
Three other charges of posing as a policeman were considered during his sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Jean Ting said that on Oct 23 last year, Lim called Ms Liang to make an appointment after she had advertised her massage services on a website.
When he arrived, she led him into her room. Lim then told her that he was a policeman and showed her two white and blue cards attached to a lanyard. She was unable to read the wordings on the cards as she does not understand English.
He asked her to produce her identification documents. She pleaded with him not to arrest her.
Lim then said he could let her go if she helped him. He told her that he was in financial difficulties and asked her to hand him $6,000. She said she had only $100 with her, and repeatedly pleaded with him.
He subsequently left after telling her to delete his contact number as well as the text messages they had exchanged.
Ms Liang reported the matter to the police, who told her to alert them should Lim contact her again.
Five days later, he contacted her again and arranged for an appointment.
He was accompanied by a 34-year-old man in his car. Lim went to the victim's unit. Ms Liang had meanwhile alerted the police as she recognised Lim's cell phone number.
Later that evening, both Lim and his alleged accomplice were arrested.
A phone, suspected of being fraudulently obtained, was found in the boot of the car.
Lim failed to account satisfactorily as to how he came by it. He later said that he had obtained it fraudulently from an unknown prostitute.
District Judge Salina Ishak agreed with the prosecutor that Lim's offence had raised issues relating to the integrity of the police force.
She noted that Lim had chosen to target victims who were unfamiliar with the local authority and were susceptible to deception as they were unable to read English. Moreover, because of their work, they were unlikely to report to the authorities.
The judge also said there were aggravating factors in this case such as pre-meditation on Lim's part in committing the offences.
Lim, represented by Mr Derek Kang, could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, or both for pretending to hold office as a public servant.