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Judicial CP - May 2006

Corpun file 17638

Straits Times, Singapore, 3 May 2006

Man jailed for using false IC to get passport

By Khushwant Singh

AN INDIAN national who bought a Singapore identity card and used it to get a passport was jailed for one year and one month and sentenced to three strokes of the cane yesterday.

Moorthy Pugalendhi pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining a passport and illegal entry.

The 28-year-old cleaner also pleaded guilty to two other charges of possessing and using someone else's identity card.

Two further charges, one of impersonation and one of forgery to obtain an ATM card, were taken into consideration by District Judge F.G. Remedios when sentencing.

The court heard that Moorthy bought the pink IC for $500 from an unknown man in April 2000.

The card had been reported lost by 33-year-old stall assistant Rajasekaran Rajagopal two years earlier.

Moorthy then used the card to get a job as a cleaner. After more than five years, he became confident enough to apply for a Singapore passport in November last year.

It was not revealed in court if he had used the passport, which was issued to him in Mr Rajasekaran's name.

His deception was finally discovered on March 15 this year when he was investigated for suspected theft and had to visit Police Cantonment Complex in Cantonment Road.

Although police officers found no evidence linking him to the theft, they began to suspect he was not Singaporean during their interviews with him in November last year and February this year.

Checks then revealed that the IC he was using did not belong to him. He was arrested on his third visit to the police complex in March.

Moorthy apologised to the court for committing the offences and asked for a light sentence.

He could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined for the passport offence alone.

Copyright 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 17668

Straits Times, Singapore, 16 May 2006

Bogus exorcist jailed, caned for molesting woman

By Khushwant Singh

A FAKE exorcist who molested a woman during a ritual he claimed would drive a demon from her body was sentenced to nine months in jail and three strokes of the cane yesterday.

Indian national Singarahalli Chinnaswamy Manjaiah, 30, admitted he had duped a housewife, 34, into believing she was possessed. He was also fined $800 for working as a fortune teller, which is not allowed on a social visit pass.

Manjaiah arrived from Bangalore, India, on Feb 24 and started seeking 'clients'. On the evening of March 2, he stopped the victim while she was walking with a friend along Serangoon Road opposite Tekka Mall.

After guessing details of the woman's education, marriage and even some distinguishing marks on her body, he told her she was possessed by a kutty-satan, or little demon, that would kill her within a month or turn her into a prostitute. He offered to remove it by a pooja - a religious ritual - for $263.

In the afternoon on March 4, they met at the Admiralty MRT station and went to a market, where he bought three lemons before leading her to the void deck of Block 683B, Woodlands Drive 62.

With the woman seated, Manjaiah began touching her forehead with the lemon and moving it to her chest. She became uncomfortable and asked to do it herself, but he told her it would not be effective as she was unable to 'chant the mantra properly'.

For 15 minutes, he put his hand under her sari and rubbed the lemon and his fingers over her breasts, abdomen and private parts.

They then returned to the MRT station, where the victim's husband had come to pay Manjaiah. Later, the couple told the police what had happened and Manjaiah was arrested on March 6.

He pleaded for leniency, claiming that his father in India had been taken seriously ill. He sobbed loudly when sentence was passed.

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