SINGAPORE, Aug — A 60-year-old man was charged yesterday with cheating 80 people of more than S$98,000 (RM300,755) by telling them they could go on a discounted Haj trip.
Mohd Ramlee Ab Samad, a Singaporean, allegedly induced them into handing over cash and their passports to a well-known religious teacher, Fahrorazi Sohoi.
Court documents showed that the alleged victims handed over between S$400 and S$1,950 to Fahrorazi over two months in 2018.
Fahrorazi — who managed a Singapore tour agency — was hauled to court in August 2018 over similar alleged offences but was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal last year.
This means that the cheating charge against the 49-year-old was dropped but can be revived later, such as if new evidence emerges.
Back then, court documents showed that Fahrorazi allegedly cheated a man named Mohammad Farehan Mohammad Hussein of S$1,550.
He was said to have duped the man into believing that he was able to arrange a VIP Haj tour under the invitation of the Saudi embassy.
Among the 85 cheating charges that Ramlee faces is one charge of deceiving the same man into believing places on a discounted Haj trip were available, leading to him pay S$1,550 to Fahrorazi.
It is unclear what is the connection between Ramlee and Fahrorazi.
The police said on Sunday that the 80 individuals who were due to depart for a Haj tour did not receive their flight confirmation and visa details.
A police report was filed on August 15, 2018 and Ramlee was arrested on October 4 that year.
When Fahrorazi was charged, the police said that Singapore passports and cash amounting to S$196,950 were seized.
Ramlee was offered bail of S$30,000 and will return to court on August 31.
If convicted of cheating and dishonestly inducing a delivery of property, he could be jailed up to 10 years and fined.
If convicted of cheating, he could be jailed up to three years or fined, or both. — TODAY