Man charged with cheating 4 people of S$10,000 for masks, using proceeds to buy pawn shop items

Man charged with cheating 4 people of S$10,000 for masks, using proceeds to buy pawn shop items

File photo of surgical mask
A man holding out a surgical mask. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: A man previously charged with cheating a Carousell buyer of S$175,000 for 500 cartons of masks is now accused of cheating four other people of thousands of dollars for the items. 

Daryl Cheong Zhi Yong, 28, was given 12 more charges on Friday (Feb 21), which include cheating offences and concealing criminal proceeds by converting them into pawn shop items.

Cheong allegedly cheated four women of almost S$10,000 in total during the week leading up to Valentine's Day. 

READ: Man charged with cheating victim of S$175,000 for cartons of masks, says he is a victim himself

READ: 5 people arrested, suspected of running face masks scams on Carousell

One of the women transferred S$7,500 to Cheong between Feb 9 and Feb 14, believing he would deliver 10 cartons and 100 boxes of surgical face masks to her on Valentine's Day, according to charge sheets. 

Another transferred S$1,000 to him on Feb 12 for 101 boxes of masks that were never delivered.

A third woman transferred S$900 to Cheong for 100 boxes of surgical face masks on Feb 10 and 11, while a fourth transferred S$250 for 25 boxes of masks on Feb 11.

Cheong was first charged on Feb 15 with cheating a man of S$175,000 as a deposit for 500 cartons of masks. 

PAWN SHOP SPREE

Charge sheets revealed how Cheong possibly dealt with the cash he was handed.

He is said to have delivered S$106,000 on Feb 13 to a person known as Goh Li En for safekeeping. He handed another S$30,000 to a Lim Poh Yen that day, and visited pawn shops to buy items such as jewellery and Rolex watches.

Cheong is accused of using S$9,000 of his criminal proceeds to buy several pieces of gold jewellery including six rings and four bracelets at a ValueMax pawn shop in Serangoon.

He is also said to have used nearly S$6,000 of the money to buy a Rolex Yacht-Master watch at the shop. 

READ: Global shortage of masks, protective equipment against coronavirus - WHO chief

Charge sheets stated he then visited a pawn shop in Redhill, where he redeemed six items of gold jewellery using about S$2,600. At the same shop, he is said to have bought a Rolex Champagne Computer Diamond Dial watch, which cost him S$7,080.

To cap off his spree, he visited a shop in Geylang and bought 11 items of gold jewellery with about S$9,000 of the money. 

That same day, he was found to be in possession of S$9,100 in cash in his Hougang flat, charge sheets revealed. He was arrested the next day. 

Cheong has been remanded since he was first charged on Feb 15 and will return to court on Mar 6. He is expected to engage a defence lawyer in the meantime.

Cheong had previously told the judge that he did not cheat anyone and was only a third party supplying masks to others. He also claimed that he was a victim of someone else's schemes. 

The prosecutor then charged that he "has taken advantage of the current climate, where individuals are seeking to buy surgical masks in view of the coronavirus disease outbreak".

If found guilty of cheating, he faces up to 10 years' jail and a fine per charge. 

If convicted of converting or concealing criminal proceeds, he faces a maximum 10 years' jail, a fine of up to S$500,000 or both per charge.

Source: CNA/ll(hs)

Bookmark