SINGAPORE - Two Chileans came to Singapore with a plan to steal from people here, after using soya sauce to "accidentally" stain their clothes.
As part of the ruse, Maria Margarita Alvarado Vicuna, 27, would then offer tissue paper so that the victims could clean up.
While they were distracted, her boyfriend, Rodrigo Andres De La Fuente Caamano, 28, would make off with their valuables.
On Sept 27, the pair targeted a money changer's courier, Mr Hasan Mohamed M. Abdul Kader, who was carrying a bag containing $51,000 at the time.
But instead of reacting after his shirt was stained, the court heard that Mr Hasan simply "looked away as if nothing had happened", leaving the Chileans empty-handed.
The couple were each sentenced on Tuesday (Oct 15) to four months' jail for attempting to steal from the 58-year-old Singaporean.
The pair, who arrived here on social visit passes on Sept 26, went to a hawker centre at around 10.30am the next day to get two plastic bags of soya sauce from a noodle stall.
They went to The Arcade shopping centre in Collyer Quay soon after to look for potential victims.
Mr Hasan, who worked for a money changer there, placed $51,000 in cash in his sling bag before setting off to buy foreign currencies from a nearby bank.
Closed-circuit television footage of the area showed Caamano watching Mr Hasan closely.
The courier was walking towards the bank at around 12.15pm when Caamano splashed the soya sauce on him.
State prosecuting officer Lam Peng Choy said: "Maria went up to (Mr Hasan) and informed him that there was a black stain on his shirt... However, (he) ignored Maria and proceeded to walk away."
Sensing something was amiss, Mr Hasan later told his employer about what had happened and the police were alerted.
Officers arrested the two Chileans at the People's Park Complex near Chinatown on Sept 28.
Those convicted of attempted theft can be jailed for 1½ years and fined.