Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Sep 30, 2021

A teenager was on probation for fighting in a public place when he reoffended by posing as female sex workers online to cheat two men of $4,000 in total.

Jerell Lim Jing Kai, now 19, had his probation revoked after pleading guilty to his latest offences – five counts of cheating and one count of dealing with the benefits of criminal activities.

The Singaporean teenager was sentenced to at least six months of reformative training on Thursday (Sept 30).

This means that he will be detained in a centre and made to follow a strict regimen that includes foot drills and counselling.

In February last year, he hatched a plan to cheat others of cash and went on online classifieds website Locanto to create a fictitious profile as a 20-year-old woman called Bernise.

Lim took an image of an unknown woman from social media platform Instagram and used it as Bernise’s display picture.

He also created an account on messaging platform Telegram with the username “bernisewz”. Lim then approached a friend and asked to “borrow” his bank account.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lai Yan said: “(The friend) would receive money in his bank account and withdraw the money at the accused’s instruction, and would be paid 20 per cent of the money he received in his bank account as commission.

“(The friend) agreed to this arrangement and provided the accused with his bank account and the PayLah QR code linked to his bank account.”

On March 27 last year, a 24-year-old man,…

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