SINGAPORE - A 22-year-old part-time packer, who pretended to be a policeman to cheat some foreign workers, was on Wednesday (March 9) jailed for three months.
Muhammad Syawalludin Razali pleaded guilty to two charges of cheating by personation.
At about 2 am on Aug 11 last year, Syawalludin, his brother Muhammad Saiyidin Razal, 27, and another person, Muhammad Haikal Marwardi, 24, wanted to get supper after spending some time at a gaming shop in Geylang. But the trio did not have any money, a district court heard.
Saiyidin, a part-time security guard, saw that Haikal, a pest control technician, had a torchlight and was wearing an earpiece. Saiyidin suggested that they scare some Bangladeshis into giving them money, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Alexander Woon told the court.
The trio jointly decided that Syawalludin would flash his Singapore Post work security pass, Saiyidin would ask the victims for money, while Haikal would act as a look-out, the DPP said.
At about 3.15 am, the trio walked up to four Bangladeshis near Lorong 24 Geylang and identified themselves as policemen, the DPP added. The foreign workers had come here on work permits, but were given special passes pending workmen compensation claims.
Saiyidin told the four men that anti-vice police were conducting a raid on the area, and asked for their identify cards. Syawalludin showed them his security pass and also said that the trio were undercover policemen.
Two of the Bangladeshi workers handed over their special passes to Saiyidin. Haikal allegedly shone his torchlight on the passes to make it look like he was checking them, and supposedly pretended to be communicating with the police control room through his earpiece.
DPP Woon said Saiyidin and Haikal then told the four Bangladeshis that they would have to pay $300 in summons each, for littering. But the foreign workers said they did not have any money, so Saiyidin asked for $50 instead, before further reducing the amount to $30.
When the victims insisted that they did not have any money, he checked their wallets. Saiyidin then followed one of the them back to his accommodation, so that he could ask for money from his housemates.
Meanwhile, Syawalludin and Haikal waited with the three other victims, while still harassing them for money, DPP Woon said. When the duo refused to give back the two passes they had taken, one of the victims snatched it back from them.
Shortly after, the victim whom Saiyidin had followed back gave $20 to him, saying that was all he had. Saiyidin then told the four Bangladeshis to go back to their accommodation and not loiter around.
At about 5.50am, they reported to policemen on patrol along Lorong 24 Geylang about what happened.
Saiyidin, Haikal and Syawalludin were arrested at about 7.20am after they were spotted along Lorong 16 Geylang.
Saiyidin has been sentenced to six months' jail, while Haikal's case is before the courts. He is contesting the facts of the case, which Syawalludin and Saiyidin admitted to.
The maximum punishment for cheating by personation is five years' jail and a fine.