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Teacher found guilty of printing, using counterfeit S$100 notes to pay for sex

SINGAPORE — He printed two S$100 notes on his home printer, and used them to pay for the services of a prostitute.

Teacher found guilty of printing, using counterfeit S$100 notes to pay for sex

Daniel Wong Wun Meng, a physical education and math teacher with Bukit Batok Secondary School, was convicted on two charges of counterfeiting and using the home-printed S$100 counterfeit notes. He had used the notes to engage the services of a prostitute. Photo: REUTERS

SINGAPORE — He printed two S$100 notes on his home printer, and used them to pay for the services of a prostitute.

But Daniel Wong Wun Meng, a physical education and math teacher with Bukit Batok Secondary School, said during his nine-day trial that he had printed the notes as “a teaching tool” for his class, and used them by mistake.

At the end of the trial on Thursday (Oct 5), Wong, 44, was convicted on two charges of counterfeiting and using the home-printed S$100 counterfeit notes. For each charge, he could have been jailed for up to 20 years.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Asoka Markandu called the former teacher’s defence “an incredible tale”.

According to investigations, Wong created the counterfeit notes in late July 2015.

They carried the same serial number and were printed on A4-sized paper using his home printer. He had also pasted aluminium foil on the printed notes to mimic the genuine notes’ kinegram security feature.

In the early hours of Aug 3, hours after celebrating his wife’s birthday, Wong went to Orchard Tower where he engaged the services of a prostitute. They went to a hotel on Balestier Road, after which Wong paid her with the home-printed notes.

The prostitute then tried to use one of the notes at a supermarket, prompting the cashier to call the police.

Wong was arrested on Aug 20, and has been suspended from duty since December that year.

In court, Wong claimed he printed the notes as “a teaching tool to… excite and engage the students” during math class.

When asked why he had picked that particular denomination, Wong said he wanted to “infuse national education” in his students using the image of youth uniformed groups depicted on the back of the S$100 bill.

The students, Wong added, would “obviously know” that the notes were fake as they had been printed on ordinary paper.

Wong’s lawyer Ms Melanie Ho further argued that the notes were “not genuine” rather than “counterfeit” – a word requiring proof of intent to practice deception – as they are “such bad specimens”.

But in finding him guilty, District Judge Terence Tay on Thursday said Wong’s explanation was not convincing.

The judge added that Wong’s evidence came across as “an afterthought or as embellishment”, as he had not informed anyone from his Math department of his intention to use the S$100 notes in class.

He also pointed out that Wong was “hesitant and evasive” when building his case.

Following Wong’s conviction, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education (MOE) said: “MOE takes a serious view of educator misconduct and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those who fail to adhere to our standards of conduct and discipline.”

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