Third man in Gadget Terminal case jailed six months for cheating

Lin Facai is the third Gadget Terminal employee to be convicted and sentenced.
Lin Facai is the third Gadget Terminal employee to be convicted and sentenced. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - A 32-year-old mobile phone salesman who cheated three walk-in customers at a Sim Lim Square shop in 2014 was jailed for six months on Monday (March 14).

Lin Facai pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiring with Gadget Terminal boss Chung Choon Cheik alias Gavin, 33, to cheat two customers of $400 and $250 in September 2014.

He is the third Gadget Terminal employee to be convicted and sentenced.

Lin worked for Chung from March to December 2014, and received a commission of 30 to 40 per cent on the sales made at the Rochor Canal Road shop.

Chung allegedly taught his staff to offer phones at attractive prices and use dirty tricks to get more money out of customers once they had agreed to the price.

On Sept 13 that year, Lin agreed to sell a Samsung mobile phone to a 41-year-old factory worker from China upon trade-in of his cellphone and a $400 payment.

After the customer handed over his money and phone to Lin, he inspected the Samsung Note 3 phone.

Lin then took the items to a room at the back of the shop on the pretext of needing to prepare a warranty. The customer said he did not need one, but Lin insisted.

He returned and asked the customer to sign on a document, which was in English but the customer could not understand it. He was told it was an agreement to register the warranty.

After the customer had signed it, Lin immediately demanded an extra $414 for the warranty. He refused to hand over the Note 3 to the customer unless he paid the extra amount.

Police were called. The victim was advised to lodge a complaint with Consumers Association of Singapore (Case).

Lin finally agreed to deliver the Note 3 to the customer, who paid $180 more.

The next day, Lin cheated Mr Radhakrishnan Balasubramaniam, a 41-year-old permanent resident who works in the IT industry.

Lin made the victim believe that he would sell him an iPhone 4 for $250 when this was untrue.

After Mr Radhakrishnan had paid Lin $250, he signed a document purportedly for a two-year warranty.

Lin later produced an invoice book and asked Mr Radhakrishnan to pay $505 for the two-year warranty before he would hand over the cellphone to him.

Lin also told the customer that under the agreement, only 40 per cent of the $250 which had been paid could be refunded. Mr Radhakrishnan's friend called the police.

Mr Radhakrishnan was advised by the police to lodge a complaint with Case. He left the shop without the iPhone nor any refund.

A third charge was taken into consideration. Lin could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each charge.