Foreign man arrested for allegedly cheating telcos and electronic store of almost $100,000 in devices

Police recovered one mobile phone; one Macbook; one Microsoft Surface Pro; one foldable knife; one flick knife; and substances believed to be controlled drugs from the 36-year-old man's hotel room.
Police recovered one mobile phone; one Macbook; one Microsoft Surface Pro; one foldable knife; one flick knife; and substances believed to be controlled drugs from the 36-year-old man's hotel room.ST PHOTO: ERVIN TAN

SINGAPORE - A 36-year-old foreign man was arrested on Thursday (May 3) for suspected involvement in multiple cheating cases amounting to almost $100,000 worth of electronic and mobile devices.

The police said the man used fake e-mail addresses and work passes to carry out his ruse. He also forged work letters to obtain multiple products from a consumer electronics store and two telco companies.

The police received a report on April 5 this year from a consumer electronics store.

The store reported that it had received a note from an imitated e-mail address impersonating a pre-school staff member on March 20. The sender requested to purchase Apple products and other electronic devices.

The store, which the police did not name, then received two further purchase orders on March 26 and March 28. They are believed to be from the same man.

The store was told the products were required urgently as the school term had already started.

It subsequently allowed collection of the products from different outlets in Singapore between March 27 and 29. It is believed the man engaged a delivery manto collect the items.

Police also received two other reports between April 20 and 24 from telco companies. They said they received several online mobile applications using forged work passes and company letters. These were applications for mobile services and handsets.

The applications were approved and the same man is believed to have then engaged couriers to collect the handsets.

He was identified through extensive ground enquiries and with the use of security camera footage. Upon receiving information from Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel that the man had checked in on the afternoon of May 3, officers conducted an operation there.

He was arrested at 11.30pm in a hotel room and more than $70,000 in cash was seized, as well as four company stamps believed to be forged.

Police also recovered one mobile phone; one Macbook; one Microsoft Surface Pro; one foldable knife; one flick knife; and substances believed to be controlled drugs.

Investigations by the police are still ongoing but the man is believed to be involved in at least three other similar cheating cases.

The police advises retailers to be wary when dealing with online applications and to assess the legitimacy of e-mails.

The man will be charged in court on Saturday. If convicted, he faces an imprisonment term of 10 years or with fine, or both.