A young man who extorted money from men by threatening to upload their nude videos was jailed for five years and ordered to be given five strokes of the cane on Friday for various offences.
Alexander Soh Zhi Ren, 22, had pleaded guilty to 10 of 23 charges which included theft, receiving and disposing of stolen goods and forgery.
The total amount involved for extortion was $104,500 and $19,000 for attempted extortion.
He committed the extortion and attempted extortion with his then 16-year-old girlfriend, Yap Siew Ting, who has been given probation for her role in the offences.
The court heard that soon after Soh and Yap, now 17, started their relationship last year, he came up with the idea of cheating people over the web after reading an article in the newspapers.
The article concerned individuals who befriended potential victims over Internet chatlines, took naked photos of the victims and then threatened to post such videos or photos on the Internet unless the victims paid them money.
The pair had trawled chatrooms in Alamak.com for victims. They would chat the men up, then persuade them to strip in front of the Web camera and perform sexual acts. Unknown to the men, Soh recorded everything with an iPhone he had hooked up to Yap's computer.
Senior District Judge See Kee Oon agreed with the prosecution that there were serious aggravating features in the case and a stiff sentence was called for.
He noted that the extortion offences were systematically carried out, leveraging on the use of technology.
'They were clearly planned and premeditated and the sum extorted was significant. He was motivated by greed, capitalising on the embarrassment that might be caused to the victims who had been manipulated and deceived.'' he said.
Judge See also said Soh had no qualms influencing his own girlfriend into being involved in the extortion scam.
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