A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to a 2.5 years jail sentence, 6 strokes of the cane and a S$30,000 fine for robbing illegal prostitutes. The court passed the judgment yesterday (Feb 23) after Teo Zhi Jie, believed to be a Malaysian in Singapore, was convicted for two counts of robbery, one count of cheating and one count of assisting unlicensed moneylending. He deliberately targeted illegal prostitutes as he believed that they will not make a police report.

On 26 Feb 2015, Teo Zhi Jie contacted an illegal prostitute from China and entered her Balestier Road unit at around 7pm. He then excused himself to the toilet where he put on rubber gloves and tied the woman up with a cable tie. Teo then called his two accomplices, Lee Qing Yew, 19 and Melvin Tan Shen Kang, 18, who came in to take away S$364 in cash and a credit card. The trio divided the loot and Teo used the credit card to purchase a S$499 headphone at Mustafa Centre.

A few months later on 15 Jun 2015, Lee and Teo hatched a plan to rob another illegal prostitute. Lee pretended to be the customer and went to another unit near Balestier Road for massage. He left the premises and came back claiming he forgot his wallet. The China national opened up and Teo, Lee and a new accomplice Andrew Tan, 28, barged in. They tied the prostitute up and robbed her of S$800 and two phones. However, Lee was later caught by the prostitute’s boyfriend in the unit while the other two fled.

Lee was handed over to the police and is now in the Reformative Training Centre. Melvin Tan will be sentenced on Mar 3, while Andrew Tan has left Singapore.