Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Man gets 16 months’ jail for cheating iPhone buyers on Carousell

SINGAPORE — A recalcitrant cheat was sentenced to 16 months’ jail yesterday for fleecing 15 victims of over S$10,000 through an Apple iPhone 7 Plus scam.

Man gets 16 months’ jail for cheating iPhone buyers on Carousell

Apple's new iPhone 7 smartphones in an Apple store. Photo: Reuters

SINGAPORE — A recalcitrant cheat was sentenced to 16 months’ jail yesterday for fleecing 15 victims of over S$10,000 through an Apple iPhone 7 Plus scam.

Cai Jiaxiang, 31, who has been in and out of jail for a decade and had carried out his latest scam only about a month after being released, also got an extra 50 days’ jail, as part of enhanced penalties the courts can hand down to ex-convicts who flout remission orders.

Between Sept 11 and 16 last year, Cai advertised iPhone 7 Plus handsets on online shopping platform Carousell, despite not having the goods on hand. Interested buyers messaged him to negotiate the price, and once they came to an agreement, Cai instructed them to transfer a deposit or the full amount to a bank account.

After they transferred the funds, Cai cut off communication with them. None recovered their money. Cai used three bank accounts, including one belonging to an unlicensed moneylender that he owed a debt to.

In total, he collected S$10,370 from 15 victims. One of them paid S$4,610 for three handsets.

The buyers linked up online and made police reports after realising that they had been scammed. They also revealed on an online forum that Cai had provided them with his identification card and driving licence to prove his credibility.

Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiam Jia Min said that Cai had used the Internet as a tool to maintain a shroud of anonymity, and had perpetrated a quick scheme to get money. Moreover, he had committed these offences shortly after completing a jail sentence for cheating victims in a similar fashion.

“It shows that he has not learned from his ways,” said DPP Thiam, noting that Cai has been in and out of prison for various offences since 2006.

Defence lawyer Alice Tan said that her client had a troubled past, with both parents dabbling in drugs. He also had a gambling addiction, which caused him to chalk up debts and borrow from an unlicensed moneylender.

Claiming that he had been beaten up once by the moneylender, Cai said: “I owed them money (from) two years back. That’s why last year, I committed the cheating offence.”

District Judge Wong Li Tein sentenced him to 16 months’ jail for the cheating offences, and the extra 50 days for flouting a prison remission order.

Ex-offenders are generally released two-thirds into their sentence, on the condition that they must not re-offend for the rest of their sentence. Breaching this condition would result in an enhanced sentence.

“The person perpetrating more hardship on yourself and your family is yourself. You could have chosen not to handle problems in your life this way,” said District Judge Wong.

“Each time you come back to this court, you’ll face a heavier and heavier sentence. Before you know it, the best years of your life will be gone.”

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa