Man who posed as Shin Min food reporter to cheat hawker of $500 arrested

A man posing as a Shin Min Daily News food reporter has allegedly cheated a hawker at Pek Kio Market and Food Centre of $500. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - The man who posed as a Shin Min Daily News food reporter and cheated a hawker of $500 was arrested on Tuesday (June 27), the Chinese evening daily reported.

Officers from Tanglin Police Division conducted extensive investigations and established the identity of the 39-year-old suspect. He was arrested at Block 112 Bukit Purmei and is assisting with investigations.

According to Shin Min, he had previously claimed to be affiliated with a Malaysian food show host and this was reported to the Malaysian police.

Last October, he started impersonating Shin Min's reporters.

Citizen journalism website Stomp said more than 31 local stalls were advertised on the man's website, MalaysiaBest.

The incident came to light when a hawker who runs Pek Kio Seafood Delights at 41, Cambridge Road made a police report. She was identified by Shin Min as Mrs Chen, 55.

She paid the man $500 for a package, but suspected something was amiss after he became uncontactable.

Shin Min also made a police report.

Upon hearing that the man had been arrested, the hawker's daughter, who was named by Shin Min as Ms Chen, told Shin Min reporters: "I'm very glad, he can't cheat others now."

Another stall owner was also happy to hear that the man had been arrested, although he was uncertain about whether he would be able to recover the money he had paid to the man.

"He is very bold. I told him I made a police report and he wasn't afraid," added the stall owner.

The man sold "advertising packages" to hawkers and would ask for an initial instalment for a $2,900 package for culinary certificates that would be valid for three years. He also promised hawkers that their stalls would be advertised in the papers and online.

Any person found guilty for the offence of cheating may be jailed up to 10 years and fined.

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