Man who posed as reporter to cheat hawkers jailed 6 months
The Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre. (Photo: Kevin Lim)
SINGAPORE: A Malaysian man was jailed for six months on Friday (Sep 22) for masquerading as a reporter from Chinese evening daily Shin Min and cheating hawkers in Singapore of S$5,400.Goh Ting Chee, 39, approached the owner of Tong Kee Cooked Food at Tiong Bahru Market in May 2017. He told owner Tan Shen Chang his stall had been selected for certification as being among the best in Singapore. Goh asked Tan to prepare three dishes for him to review and photograph the next day.Tan agreed, and Goh returned the next day with a laptop and DSLR camera. He told Tan he would interview him and write a review to be posted online, and that he would issue a “food recognition certificate” for 2017, 2018 and 2019.Goh asked Tan for S$2,900 as payment of a “maintenance fee” for the website on which the review was to be published. Tan handed over the money.Goh said that Tan can run a Google search for the review after Jun 3 but did not give him any website address.In April 2017, Goh called the owner of Xiang Lai Herbal Bak Kut Teh at Bukit Panjang Ring Road, Yeo Yeow Siang, and said that he had been selected to be featured on the website Malaysiabest.my if he was willing to pay S$2,900.
Over a month later, in May, Goh approached Yeo again, saying a company known as “Alexis Food Industry” was interested in entering into a franchise agreement with his stall. He asked Yeo to prepare a franchise agreement in two days, or pay him S$2,800 to do it for him. Yeo paid him S$2,000 in the end.A third cheating charge involving $500 was considered during sentencing.Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Chew called for a jail term of eight months for Goh, whose offences were “clearly premeditated”. He “took steps to portray himself as a credible Shin Min Daily News reporter and attempted to leverage on the popularity and reputation of a national newspaper, “ DPP Chew said.No restitution has been made.
For cheating, Goh could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.