Man who impersonated CNB officer and cheated woman with special needs jailed, fined

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
Almond Tan Peng, 29, pleaded guilty to a string of crimes including cheating, criminal breach of trust and traffic offences. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — A serial cheat who befriended a special needs person via online dating site OkCupid duped her into believing he was an officer with the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), a court heard.

Almond Tan Peng later got the 24-year-old victim to sign up for mobile subscription plans and then hand over the mobile phones that came along with the plans to him.

At the State Courts on Thursday (16 May), Tan, 29, was jailed for one year and also fined $2,200.

He pleaded guilty to a string of crimes including cheating, criminal breach of trust and traffic offences.

Cheated victim into signing for phone plans

In December 2018, Tan, who is married, pretended to be “Shawn Lim” on OkCupid and befriended the victim, who has an intellectual disability.

On 11 December, the victim saw Tan take a pair of handcuffs from a side compartment of his car. When she asked him about it, he claimed that he was a CNB officer.

Shortly after, he asked her for help to sign up for mobile subscription plans. He said he could not sign for the plans and reassured her that he would pay for all the monthly bills.

On 15 December, the victim signed for a two-year plan which came with a phone valued at $2,039. She gave Tan the phone.

Two days later, the victim signed up for another plan that came with the same phone. She again handed Tan the phone.

The victim made a police report on 28 February after she came to know his real name, which she saw on a letter.

Cheated car polishing customers

In February 2017, while working as a supervisor at car workshop Global Autoworks in Kaki Bukit Avenue 4, Tan also misappropriated money from his employer.

He filched $105 paid by walk-in customers for car polishing.

His manager made a police report on 6 March 2017.

In August 2017, while working as a car polisher at Amaze Carcare Services at the Caltex Petrol Station along Tanjong Katong Road, Tan also cheated another unwitting victim of $650.

Tan told the victim he was the owner of the car wash operator and introduced a car polishing package to the latter. Tan said he would polish the victim’s car for free if he signed up for a two-year car polishing package.

Tan even gave the victim a receipt for the $650 he paid.

Tan’s manager at Amaze Carcare Services called the police on 19 August 2017.

Stopped for not wearing seat belt

On 15 December last year, Tan was stopped by a traffic police officer for not wearing a seat belt while driving his wife’s car.

Checks showed he did not have a valid driving licence and he was arrested. He was also driving without a valid insurance policy.

For each of his cheating charges, Tan could have been jailed for up to 10 years along with a fine.

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