Man jailed 3 years for paying cab fare with fake $50 bill

A taxi passenger thought he had managed to get a free ride when he used a counterfeit $50 bill to pay for his cab ride.

But 35-year-old Sanjeev Jayakumar was tracked down by the police and is now counting the cost of his actions. The safety coordinating officer was jailed for three years yesterday after pleading guilty to using a bogus note to pay $10.80 for his taxi ride.

A similar charge involving a taxi fare of $11.70 was considered during sentencing.

The Singaporean had been given at least two fake $50 bills by another man.

He boarded Mr Tan Siak Kwang's taxi near Marsiling MRT Station on Nov 14, 2016, and asked to be taken to Sembawang Drive.

When they reached their destination, Sanjeev gave Mr Tan, 71, a counterfeit note and 80 cents in coins and the cabby gave him four genuine $10 notes in change.

Sanjeev's offence came to light a week later when Mr Tan tried to deposit money at a United Overseas Bank (UOB) cash deposit machine in Woodlands Civic Centre.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lim said the machine rejected the note and a bank officer confirmed it was a counterfeit.

UOB and Mr Tan reported the matter to police, who managed to trace Sanjeev.

DPP Lim, who urged District Judge Marvin Bay to jail Sanjeev for three years, said the Commercial Affairs Department has not uncovered any links between Sanjeev and any syndicate.

Pleading for the lowest possible sentence, Sanjeev's lawyer Rajan Supramaniam said the fake notes had been handed to his client who was aware they were not genuine.

However, the lawyer did not reveal any further information as to how Sanjeev got to know the person who had given the bills to him.

For each count of using the fake money, he could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2018, with the headline 'Man jailed 3 years for paying cab fare with fake $50 bill'. Print Edition | Subscribe