Man overstayed in Singapore for 2,394 days, cheated 14 people of S$10,450 in rental scams & More News Here

SINGAPORE — A 40-year-old man who overstayed in Singapore for 2,394 days, or greater than six years, and cheated his compatriots from Malaysia in a rental rip-off has been sentenced to 14 months’ jail and three strokes of the cane.

On Monday (June 6), Er Chern Siew pleaded responsible to a complete of seven prices — six associated to dishonest and a single immigration cost.

Ten different related prices had been considered for Er’s sentencing, which was backdated to Oct 16 final 12 months, the date of his remand.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Gabriel Choong stated that Er, who was arrested on Oct 14 final 12 months, first entered Singapore by way of the Woodlands Checkpoint by bus on May 13 in 2015.

He remained in Singapore even after his go to move — which granted him permission to be in the nation for solely 14 days — had expired.

To maintain himself, Er discovered a job as a salesman and as an property agent, despite the fact that he was not licensed below the Estate Agents Act, DPP Choong stated.

He prevented detection by residing in varied places in Singapore, and even signed for a lease of a unit in an undisclosed location below the identify of his good friend Lim Sau Sen.

Er additionally used Lim’s particulars when logging on to the HintTogether cell software throughout the top of the Covid-19 pandemic. The app was used for contact-tracing functions by the Government.

Aside from that, Er registered his cell quantity below the identify of his girlfriend Kok Po Yen.

The authorities finally caught on to him when a sufferer he had cheated filed a criticism with the police in opposition to him on July 16 final 12 months.

Investigations discovered that between July 1 and Sept 26 final 12 months, Er cheated 14 victims into putting rental deposits for the identical residence on the Regal 35 residence complicated alongside Lorong 35 Geylang.

The court docket heard that a minimum of 5 of the victims had been Malaysians and so they had been ladies between the ages of 27 and 30.

As half of his ploy to assist property homeowners discover tenants, Er would ship direct messages on social media channels to people who seem like Malaysians residing in Singapore, in order to solicit their pursuits in renting properties that he managed, DPP Choong stated.

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The particulars of how the 5 ladies had been cheated had been roughly much like each other, and the sums concerned ranged between S$800 and S$850. DPP Choong stated that the full quantity he cheated from his 14 victims was S$10,450. 

The highest quantity he pocketed was from a 29-year-old lady who was deceived by Er on Sept 18 final 12 months into believing that the Regal 35 residence could be out there for hire on Dec 1.

Er satisfied the lady into depositing S$850 into his girlfriend’s checking account as a rental deposit. At some level thereafter, the person claimed that there was a delay in the move-in date and may now not be reached.

DPP Choong additionally informed the court docket of an unrelated offence that Er dedicated on Oct 30 in 2020, which concerned a Singaporean man, then aged 56, who had left his debit card at an ATM machine at HarbourFront Centre.

The prosecutor stated that Er took the cardboard and used it on 4 events that night at varied retailers in the procuring complicated. With the cardboard, Er paid for items value a complete of S$336.58 from Unity and Watson’s pharmacies, the Gadget Mix electronics retailer and Cheers comfort retailer.

To date, no restitution has been made, DPP Choong stated, as he sought a jail time period of between 14 and 17 months, and three strokes of the cane.


Speaking on behalf of his shopper, who appeared in court docket by way of a video hyperlink, defence counsel Periowsamy Otharam of regulation agency Okay&L Gates Straits Law stated that Er’s preliminary intention to come back to Singapore was not for a social go to, however to seek out work.

Although he didn’t go into particulars, Mr Otharam stated that Er finally discovered a job however his employer informed him two months later that he was unable to safe a piece allow for him.

“So… realising that he had overstayed, he was afraid to surrender himself,” Mr Otharam stated.

Er later discovered work as a mover and was employed till the Covid-19 pandemic occurred in 2020.

Mr Otharam stated that this was when Er “went into this pursuit” of the rental scams.

The lawyer agreed that what his shopper did was not proper, however stated that in every occasion, the quantity Er cheated was “small” as a result of he merely wished to maintain himself.

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“The purpose of why he committed these offences was due… to the Covid period. Otherwise, he was earning an honest living as a mover and sending money back to his parents, although he was illegally here he is not denying that,” Mr Otharam added, as he sought a decrease sentence of 10 months’ jail and three strokes of the cane.

For overstaying, Er may have been jailed as much as six months and given not lower than three strokes of the cane.

For dishonest his victims of the rental deposits, he may have been jailed as much as 10 years and fined.

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