Robber who lured victim out by using gay dating app Grindr sentenced to jail, caning

Service officer Iskandar Jantan was sentenced to three years and two months' jail with 12 strokes of the cane on March 21, 2018.
Service officer Iskandar Jantan was sentenced to three years and two months' jail with 12 strokes of the cane on March 21, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - By using a gay dating app known as Grindr, two men lured their victim out before robbing him of more than $3,000 in cash and valuables.

On Wednesday (March 21), one of them, service officer Iskandar Jantan, was sentenced to three years and two months' jail with 12 strokes of the cane.

The 43-year-old pleaded guilty on Monday to robbing the 26-year-old man who cannot be named due to a gag order.

Iskandar's accomplice, Chong Ming Kar received the minimum sentence - three years behind bars with 12 strokes of the cane - on Oct 30 last year.

Iskandar started chatting with the victim on Grindr on Aug 25, 2016. He and Chong, now 29, then pretended to be a Caucasian man to lure their victim out.

They planned to rob him him while posing as police officers.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Esther Tang said: "Both accused persons thought that this would be effective, as gay persons would generally be afraid of having details about their personal lives exposed."

At around 10.40pm that day, the man was duped into turning up a bus stop in Guillemard Road where the pair were waiting. When he arrived, Iskandar and Chong cornered him while posing as policemen. They asked to check his bag.

"The victim was unsure about whether the accused persons were actually police officers, but nonetheless complied with the accused persons' instructions to move to behind the bus stop, near a construction site," said DPP Tang.

At the back of the bus stop, Chong pulled on the man's bag and a scuffle ensued when the victim held it tightly against his body. Iskandar stepped in and held the victim in a headlock.

During the scuffle, Chong dialled 999 and lied to an officer, claiming he was a policeman who needed to screen a so-called uncooperative suspect.

The victim managed to break free and the pair ran after him. When he fell down, the duo snatched his $1,000 Prada bag which contained about $2,000 worth of valuables, including a laptop computer and a wallet.

The victim escaped in a taxi and his cousin later alerted the police at around 11.50pm. Officers arrested Chong and Iskandar the following day.

Iskandar was offered bail of $35,000 as he will be serving his sentence at a later date.

He was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on March 29.