4 Chinese nationals flew to Singapore to cheat elderly victims

Four Chinese nationals hatched a plan to cheat elderly victims in Singapore by selling electronic components they claimed were valuable.

On Jan 11, Li Qiangqing, Wei Shuihong, Zhu Zhaozong and Wei Wendong flew to Singapore from Shenzhen with about 32 packets of electronics parts as props.

The four men, aged between 48 and 53, cheated a 62-year-old housewife of $10,000.

They wanted to use the money to pay off debts.

Li, Zhu and Wei Shuihong carried out their fraudulent act on Jan 13.

Wei, 50, pretended to ask the victim for directions when she was alone at a market in Tampines. While they were talking, he "dropped" one of the electronic parts.

Zhu, 48, then showed up and asked Wei what the product was. Wei claimed it was a valuable computer part which he was selling for $50 apiece.

Li, 53, then joined in and told Zhu he was willing to buy the parts at $80 each.

Zhu then told the victim he wanted to buy 800 of the items from Wei, and sell them to Li for a profit. But he said he did not have enough money and asked the victim if she wanted to chip in.

The victim agreed to buy $10,000 worth of parts and went home to get the cash.

After receiving the $10,000, from her, Zhu told her to wait at a void deck for Li. He then left with Wei, claiming they needed to collect the parts.

When Li failed to show up, the victim realised she had been duped and called the police.

Wei Wendong, 49, who was not involved in the act, received $1,000. The men were caught on Jan 15. All four pleaded guilty last month.

Yesterday, the prosecution called for a jail term of 12 months for Li, Zhu and Wei Shuihong who had major roles in the act, and six months for Wei Wendong.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Loh Hui-Min said it was necessary to deter foreigners who plan to come here to commit crime.

She noted that there was premeditation, as they had brought the items from China.

The men are expected to be sentenced on March 17.


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