Court Briefs: Man charged over investment scam

Man charged over investment scam

A 49-year-old man was charged in court yesterday for his alleged role in an investment scheme involving $1.1 million.

Hong Ban Joo faces 21 counts of cheating. If convicted, he may be imprisoned for up to 10 years, and liable for a fine in relation to each offence.

Between 2013 and 2015, Hong cheated four victims in supposed foreign exchange investment schemes that promised up to 8 per cent returns a month. He received sums of up to $200,000 in individual "transactions", and used the money for other purposes.

In a statement yesterday, the police advised members of the public to avoid investments that promise high returns, "guaranteed profits" or quick gains, especially when there are claims that the investments involve little or no risk. The police also advised people not to deal with parties unregulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Hong's next trial date is set for Dec 2, and he has been offered bail of $50,000.

Correction note: This article has been edited to reflect the correct surname of the suspect. We are sorry for the error.


Teen admits molesting woman

A Secondary 4 student tried chatting up a 40-year-old woman after asking her for directions and then tailed her when she ignored him.

When the woman confronted him, the teenager reached out and molested her.

Yesterday, the 16-year-old Singaporean pleaded guilty in court to a molestation charge. He also admitted to insulting the modesty of two teenage girls in separate incidents.

The offender cannot be named due to amendments to the Children and Young Persons Act, which now covers those below 18 years of age.

Yesterday, the court called for a report to assess the offender's suitability for a probation. He will be sentenced on Dec 16.

For molestation, an offender can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.

For each count of insulting a woman's modesty, an offender can be jailed for up to a year and fined.


NSF stole ambulance at fire station

Dressed in an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) T-shirt with black trousers, a full-time national serviceman (NSF) with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) told a sentry officer at Sengkang Fire Station that he was an off-duty EMS officer and needed to speak to a colleague inside.

Haziq Syamim Esa, who had cycled to the fire station, was allowed to enter the premises at around 3am on March 12, and he stole an ambulance parked at a bay.

He then drove the ambulance to The Amore condominium in Edgedale Plains, Punggol, to visit his girlfriend who lived there.

Other SCDF officers spotted him at the condominium and the police were alerted.

The 21-year-old Singaporean pleaded guilty in a district court yesterday to one count each of theft and cheating. He also admitted to an unrelated charge of causing hurt to another person by a rash act.

Haziq will be sentenced on Dec 11.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 05, 2020, with the headline 'Court Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe