Chinese tourist faces 10 years in jail for staging kidnapping in Singapore

By Hoang Phong   March 12, 2024 | 06:18 pm PT
Chinese tourist faces 10 years in jail for staging kidnapping in Singapore
Tourists pose for photos with the Marina Bay Sands at a popular tourist spot along Marina Bay in Singapore July 24, 2015. Photo by Reuters
Singapore has handed one charge of attempted cheating against a Chinese tourist who was found faking his own kidnapping while visiting the city-state to extort up to 30,000 yuan (US$4,000) from his relatives.

Liu Changjian, 33, appeared in court on Monday where he pleaded not guilty, according to The Straits Times. He will return to court on March 25 for a pre-trial conference.

Under Singapore's law, those convicted of attempted cheating can be jailed for up to 10 years.

According to investigators, Liu had entered Singapore on March 1 under visa-free policy and was scheduled to return to China five days later but failed to do so.

He was at the Marina Bay Sands Casino on March 7 and 8 but staged his own kidnapping to cheat his relatives in China in an effort to extort ransom money to pay for his gambling debt.

His aunt last week received threatening messages via WeChat, saying her nephew had been kidnapped and asked for a ransom of up to 30,000 yuan, according to the South China Morning Post.

His family quickly contacted with Singapore police forces to seek help.

Following a three-hour investigation, police officers managed to locate Liu and found him remain safe.

Investigations also revealed he had gambling debts of between S$20,000 and S$30,000.

Police said in a statement, "The man pretended to be someone else and staged his own kidnapping. However, no ransom was paid to him or anyone else."

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