Feeling neglected by her husband, a woman lied to the police that she was kidnapped in Singapore and brought to China in order to get attention from him.
Veronica Tay Ting Ting’s husband had earlier made a police report after he received messages from her that she was being held captive by an unknown man.
Tay, 25, pleaded guilty to one charge of giving false information to a public servant and was fined $3,000 in the State Courts on Tuesday (20 February). She was fined another $2,000 after admitting to criminal breach of trust for pocketing $1,428.95 from her previous employer.
The court heard that on 20 August 2015, Tay went for a smoke break at 10am while she was at work but did not return to the office.
Tay then texted her husband Thong Meng Fie, 39, at 11.44am saying she was sorry and that he should take care of himself. At about 12.08pm, Thong received several voice messages on WeChat from Tay claiming that she was being drugged and detained by an unknown man. Thong panicked and made a police report.
The police followed up by interviewing Tay on 29 August. Tay told the police that while she was smoking outside her workplace, a car with three men inside drove towards her and one of them pulled her into the car. One of the men covered her mouth and switched off her mobile phone while they were in the car, according to Tay’s account.
The men then brought her to Changi Airport and they boarded a flight to Ningbo, China, where she was held captive for five days, Tay claimed. On the fifth day, the men let her go and she returned to Singapore on her own on 27 August, she added.
During investigations, the police examined CCTV footage from Tay’s workplace and at Changi Airport. While Tay was in China, the police also enlisted the help of Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find her.
When confronted by the findings, Tay broke down and confessed that she had lied in her earlier police statement. She confessed that she had staged the incident because she felt neglected by her husband and was trying to get his attention.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Eric Hu sought a stiff fine, saying Tay’s actions had led to a “wastage” of public resources.
As Tay was unable to pay the total $5,000 fines imposed by District Judge Samuel Chua, she would serve five weeks’ jail instead.
For giving false information to a public servant, Tay could have been jailed up to one year, or fined or both.