Two men jailed and ordered to be caned for extortion over fake escort service

Two men, Easudas Jason (pictured) and Saravanan Uthasverian, were on Friday, May 30, 2014, sentenced to jail terms and caning over a conspiracy to extort money from victims, using a fake online advertisement for social escort services. -- ST PHO
Two men, Easudas Jason (pictured) and Saravanan Uthasverian, were on Friday, May 30, 2014, sentenced to jail terms and caning over a conspiracy to extort money from victims, using a fake online advertisement for social escort services. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Two men were on Friday sentenced to jail terms and caning over a conspiracy to extort money from victims, using a fake online advertisement for social escort services.

Members of the conspiracy that Easudas Jason, 32, and Saravanan Uthasverian, 27 were involved in would pretend to be the father of the girl advertising her services, and a police officer.

When victims responded to the ads, Easudas or others would threaten to start police investigations and splash their cases in the newspapers. Fearing public embarrassment, the victims would transfer money to a bank account provided by Easudas. Saravanan's role was to withdraw money from the accounts.

After a nine-day trial, the two men were each convicted of three charges involving $7,650, but cleared of two others due to insufficient evidence. Easudas received five years in jail, one more than Saravanan, who had played a smaller role in the conspiracy.

Both men were also ordered to be given six strokes of the cane each, but Easudas, who is wheelchair-bound, will have his reviewed next month depending on a medical report.

A pre-trial conference has been fixed for numerous charges still outstanding for both men. The prescribed penalty for extortion is a jail term of between two and seven years, and caning.

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