Singapore

Probation not recommended for first youth to plead guilty to role in $12.8m OCBC phishing scams


SINGAPORE – A youth who pleaded guilty to his role in the $12.8 million OCBC phishing scams was assessed to be unsuitable for a probation sentence.

A district court heard on Wednesday (June 1) that Leong Jun Xian, 21, was instead recommended to undergo reformative training.

Offenders given reformative training will be detained in a centre and made to follow a strict regimen that can include foot drills and counselling.

Leong was one of seven youths charged in February over their alleged involvement in the scams.

He had pleaded guilty on April 20 to two counts each of dealing with the benefits of criminal conduct and rioting.

He also admitted to a charge under the Organised Crime Act. Another 10 charges will be considered during sentencing.

The seven youths include Brayden Cheng Ming Yan, 19, Jovan Soh Jun Yan, 20, Muhammad Khairuddin Eskandariah, 20, and Lim Kai Ze, 21.

Two other youths cannot be named as they were below 18 when they allegedly committed some offences.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lee Wei Liang did not disclose the reasons behind the recommendations for Leong to be sent for reformative training.

But the DPP told District Judge Kessler Soh on Wednesday that according to a probation report prepared after Leong’s conviction, the youth had contradicted certain points which he admitted to when he pleaded guilty.

Among other things, Leong’s probation report stated that he was unaware that his offences were linked to international syndicates.

The youth had, however, admitted in court in April that he believed these persons were based overseas.

Defence lawyer Audrey Koo told the court on Wednesday that she needed some time to discuss the matter with her client.

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Leong is now expected to be sentenced on June 30.



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