Jailed over fake robbery, giving false info to police

A man who helped two women stage a robbery and give false information to the police was yesterday sentenced to six months' jail.

Lai Wei Tuck, 36, pleaded guilty to abetting Peng Mingying, 30, and Zhang Xuemei, 32, both Special Pass holders from China, by helping them to commit a fake armed robbery and then lying to police that he robbed them.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lu Yiwei said the complainants had told police that they were robbed and bound by Lai at their rented Dorset Road flat on Jan 17.

They said Lai had turned up at about 5pm with a 25cm-long object, resembling a knife, after booking Peng's massage services.

He tied her wrists and legs with cable ties and took $1,700 and her $200 mobile phone, they claimed.

Court documents showed Zhang claimed she heard a commotion and entered the room, where Lai pulled her hair and used cable ties to tie her up.

She said he demanded for her valuables and used scotch tape to tape their mouths. She claimed she later found $1,750 and two iPhones missing from her room.

But it turned out that Lai was approached by a woman via a website to take part in the fake robbery for which he would be paid $5,000.

The two complainants were to pay $3,500 each for the "service''. They thought this would allow them to extend their passes for a longer time.

Zhang made a police report on Jan 17. Lai was arrested four days later.

He could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to $5,000 for abetting to give false information to a public servant.

He was also fined $30,000 for an unrelated remote gambling offence at Upper East Coast Road between March and Sept 1 last year.

The women's cases are pending.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2017, with the headline 'Jailed over fake robbery, giving false info to police'. Print Edition | Subscribe