Man who turned up drunk in court jailed, caned for sex video extortion

Singapore’s State Courts. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

He stole two sex videos from a teenage girl’s mobile phone and tried to extort $50,000 from a teenage boy who was filmed in the videos.

Naveenthiran Thevathas, a 21-year-old Singaporean, was originally scheduled to be sentenced last Thursday (19 July) but he turned up in court drunk and was late for his hearing. District Judge Kenneth Yap reprimanded him then for his conduct before revoking his bail and adjourning the case.

On Monday, Naveenthiran was jailed for four years and two months and ordered to be caned three strokes after he earlier pleaded guilty to one count of extortion and one count of theft in a separate incident.

In the videos, the 18-year-old girl is seen having sex with the 17-year-old boy. Both victims cannot be named to protect their identities.

The girl’s phone fell into Naveenthiran’s hands on 17 January this year. She had passed the phone to a friend for safekeeping and it was unlocked by Naveenthiran.

While scrolling through messages, Naveenthiran saw two videos involving the teenage girl and another boy, whom he recognised, having sex in a toilet.

He sent the two videos to a woman, Chandanee Selvarajoo, 28, for her viewing pleasure before deleting evidence of the sent messages from the girl’s phone.

As Naveenthiran did not like the boy, he thought of ways to use the videos against him. He conceived the idea of using the videos to shame the boy and obtain money, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Shen Wanqin.

He later conspired with Chandanee to extort $50,000 from the boy and split the money between themselves. Chandanee obtained a SIM card for Naveenthiran to use and contact the boy without being traced.

On 14 February, Naveenthiran sent a video to the boy, wishing him “Happy Valentine’s Day”. He asked the boy to send him $50,000 as he knew the boy came from a well-to-do family. He knew the boy would be compelled to give in to the demand due to the potential damage to his reputation.

When the boy said he had no money, Naveenthiran threatened to approach his father or post the videos on Facebook. Naveenthiran also said that he hated the victims and wanted them to suffer. The two exchanged 1,447 messages between 14 and 15 February, with Naveenthiran repeatedly asking the boy for money.

The boy reported the matter to the police on 14 February and an operation was mounted to arrest Navintheeran.

On 15 February, around 9pm, the boy told Navintheeran that he could meet him to pass him $8,000. Navintheeran agreed to meet on the same day.

Navintheeran then informed a friend, Nitesh Naidu Raj Kumar Naidu, 23, of the incident and Nitesh suggested going to Hillcrest Road to collect the money.

At 10.21 pm, Navintheeran instructed the boy to book a Grab car to 171 Hillcrest Road, send a screenshot of his booking, and meet him alone. He also instructed the boy to share his live location for eight hours, and place the money in a bag at a fire hydrant after arriving at the location. The boy followed his instructions and left in another Grab car.

Navintheeran then collected the money with Nitesh and left in a van, but the duo realised that they were being followed by two cars. After discarding the bag along Neo Tiew Road, they headed to a carpark in Woodlands before they were arrested around Block 339 Woodlands Avenue 1. The money was seized from the van.