Singaporean social escort who stole credit cards jailed 3 years
SINGAPORE, Dec 20 — A social escort who nicked his customers’ credit cards after providing massage services and swiped about S$51,000 (RM157,745) worth of purchases over nearly a year was sentenced to three years’ jail for cheating yesterday.
Nur Alya Sefira Mohd Hadim managed to evade arrest partly because his cross-dressing made it difficult for the authorities to identify him, the court was told.
The 31-year-old man pleaded guilty yesterday to 17 cheating offences that were committed between September 2014 and June last year. His victims included the doctor who gave him hormone injections as well as men of various nationalities, such as Irish, Danish, French, Indian, Finnish, Australian, among others.
Another 170 similar cheating and theft charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
At the time of his offences, Nur Alya was not only working as a freelance make-up artiste but also a social escort who solicited for clients at bars in the Orchard Towers area, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Vadivalagan Shanmuga.
Investigations revealed that he stole credit cards from customers at these bars and also from those who had engaged his massage services in the hotel rooms. At times, he stole more than one card from his victims in case the cards had lower credit limits.
Nur Alya also stole a UOB credit card from his doctor sometime in February last year while visiting the clinic for his usual hormone injection. The latter had left a few credit cards unattended on the clinic table.
Nur Alya used these stolen cards to go on a spending spree. Various sales assistants were deceived into believing that he was the rightful cardholder and he bought items such as gold pendants, rings, chains, bracelets as well as various mobile phones.
Nur Alya would then sell or pawn these items to fund his personal expenses. He also admitted to using these cards until they were declined before cutting them up and throwing them away.
In all, he spent S$51,250.97 over 11 months. Apart from the doctor, the amount of losses suffered by each victim ranged from S$1,995 to S$6,728. Only S$12,559 worth of goods were recovered from the pawnshops.
Nur Alya was arrested on June 26 last year after the Central Narcotics Bureau conducted a surprise raid.
This came after a “tedious investigation process”, said DPP Vadivalagan. The accused had planned his offences such that he was undetectable and evaded arrest for a considerable time. His cross-dressing habit also did not help when CCTV footages were scrutinised by the police, he added.
Urging the court to impose a jail term of at least three years, DPP Vadivalagan cited various aggravating factors in this case, such as the multiple cards and victims that were involved in the fraud. The offences were premeditated and were committed over a period of nearly 11 months.
He also abused his position of trust when he stole from his own doctor and victims who wanted escort services, added the DPP.
Furthermore, the DPP noted that Nur Alya had also used a similar modus operandi for his previous convictions. In 2012, he was jailed 18 months for similar cheating and drug offences. Then, he stole mostly ATM cards and monies instead of credit cards, said DPP Vadivalagan.
In mitigation, his lawyer Dhillon Surinder Singh said his client regrets his actions and had fully cooperated with the police upon his arrest.
He also added that his client had acted on his own and was not part of a syndicate.
For each cheating charge, Nur Alya could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined. — TODAY