SINGAPORE - A man who forged a winning 4D ticket and cheated an acquaintance of two mobile phones was given seven years' preventive detention on Monday (Dec 14).
Part-time cleaner Mohammed Yaacop Ali, 62, had admitted forging a 4D ticket, with the number 4973, on July 13 this year and amending the draw date from July 18 to July 11. He intended to cheat Mr Lim Phang Eng with it.
He duped Mr Lim on July 14 into believing that he had obtained the winning ticket for the draw on July 11, worth $10,000, and induced him to buy the ticket from him for $7,000.
He also pleaded guilty to cheating Mr Muhammad Shahid Sazali into believing that he worked for the M1 mobile store at Tampines Mall and would help him get two Samsung mobile phones at an "advantageous price'' as part of a trade-in deal for older cellphones.
A district court heard that Yaacop bought a 4D ticket number 9473 on July 10. The next day, the winning number for the first prize turned out to be 4973.
He then planned to forge the winning ticket for July 11. He bought another 4D ticket, with the number, 4973, on July 13, which was for the July 18 draw. He erased the draw date from ticket 4973 and changed it to July 11.
When he was deployed to provide cleaning services at DHL warehouse on July 14, he told Mr Lim, a security guard there, that he had won the first prize for the draw on July 11. He further said the forged ticket was worth $10,000.
Yaacob sold the ticket to Mr Lim for $7,000 after claiming that he did not know how to get to Singapore Pools headquarters to collect his winnings, and that he needed money urgently for Hari Raya.
Mr Lim found out it was a forged ticket when he went to the Singapore Pools headquarters on July 15 to claim the prize money. Yaacop disappeared and stopped coming to work at DHL warehouse.
In the cheating case, the court heard that Yaacop was warded in National Univversity Hospital in August this year when he told Mr Shahid and his father, who was also warded, he worked for M1. He told them that he could trade in mobile phones for new Samsung phone at a very low price.
The pair agreed to trade in cellphones of Mr Shahid and his sister for two Samsung phones.
Mr Shahid met Yaacop at the hospital on Aug 20 and proceeded to Tampines Mall. After getting the two phones, worth a total of $200, and $200 cash from Mr Shahid, Yaacop told him to wait for him at McDonald's. After waiting for three hours, Mr Shahid went to the M1 store and discovered that Yaacop was not employed there. He had in fact left Singapore and returned to Johor.
Yaacop, a father of three, had had a number of convictions for cheating since 1981. He was released from prison shortly before the latest offences.