SINGAPORE, Dec 6 — In need of money for her ailing mother, a woman tricked a friend she met on TikTok into paying her S$5,000 (RM17,391) to secure fake jobs for two foreign workers at DHL Singapore.

Jayanthi Subramaniam, a 31-year-old Malaysian, was sentenced to six weeks' jail yesterday (December 5) after she pleaded guilty to a charge of cheating.

State Prosecuting Officer (SPO) Ng Chee Wee told the court that at the time of the offence, Jayanthi was deployed by a cleaning company to work at the logistics company.

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Investigations revealed that she met the victim, Rajappan Balakrishnan, through the video-sharing application TikTok in 2021. They kept in contact through phone calls, text and voice messaging, but never met in person.

Sometime in August, Jayanthi devised a scheme to cheat her friends after she ran into financial difficulties and was unable to repay her loans.

She planned to lie that she had job opportunities at DHL Singapore, since she had been deployed there as a cleaner.

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On August 29, she contacted Rajappan, an India national, to tell him that she was working for DHL and that there were job opportunities for foreign workers.

She offered to submit work pass applications for these workers even though she did not work for DHL and there were no such jobs, SPO Ng said.

Rajappan then contacted his friend who recommended two acquaintances for the non-existent jobs.

When Rajappan informed Jayanthi about the individuals, she asked for S$5,000 each to process their job and work pass applications.

Rajappan was suspicious because the requested amount was high, but Jayanthi managed to convince him that it was a genuine opportunity by sending photographs and videos of DHL's premises.

She then said that she would accept S$2,500 for each person as a deposit.

Believing her, Rajappan then asked his friend to help transfer S$5,000 into her account.

SPO Ng said that after the amount was transferred, Jayanthi tried to ask Rajappan for more money but he asked for some formal documentation before doing so.

She then stopped asking for money and instead, repeatedly gave him excuses about the job opportunities.

Rajappan filed a police report on October 1 and Jayanthi was arrested three days later.

The sum was not recovered because Jayanthi had used it to repay her debts and personal expenses, which she claimed were for her mother's medical bills.

She made a full restitution on December 4.

During mitigation, Jayanthi cried as she pleaded with the court to forgive her and give her a chance.

“My mother is a dialysis patient and I had asked for this money because of her medical expenses,” she said.

She added that she committed the offence only for her mother and will not make such a mistake again.

For cheating, she could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined. ― TODAY