Singapore man linked to well-known religious teacher charged over alleged S$98,000 Haj tour scam

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba at the Grand mosque during the annual Haj pilgrimage amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia July 29, 2020. — Saudi Press Agency handout via Reuters
Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba at the Grand mosque during the annual Haj pilgrimage amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia July 29, 2020. — Saudi Press Agency handout via Reuters

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

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