Indian-origin Man Faces 21 Cheating Charges in Singapore

A Singapore court on Thursday charged a man of Indian origin with defrauding two others of 1.6 million Singapore dollars (about 1.1 million US dollars) under a timeshare redemption scheme linked to a compensation agency in Bangalore. Murlidharan Muhundan, 45, faces 21 counts of fraud, two counts of inciting fraud and two other counts of attempted fraud, according to a report in The Straits Times.

He allegedly scammed Ooi Phik Cheng and Marimuthu Therumalai of Indian descent into a timeshare redemption scam. Citing court documents, the newspaper reported that Murlidharan deceived Ooi on 13 occasions into believing that “Bhagyam Bangalore agencies” would provide compensation for her timeshare agreement. She was scammed into paying Murlidharan amounts ranging from S$5,000 (US$3619) to S$100,000 (US$72,391) between July 2020 and January last year.

Murlidharan has also allegedly deceived Marimuthu on 12 occasions, including making him believe he had to pay a S$250,000 ($1,80,979) fine for taking pictures in an office on Collyer Quay in November last year.

Marimuthu was also duped into paying between S$20,000 ($14,478) and S$150,000 ($1,08,587) to Murlidharan between July and November last year to receive payments from a timeshare agreement, according to a Singapore daily report. Those convicted of any of these crimes face up to 10 years in prison and a fine.

On Thursday, police urged members of the public to be vigilant when receiving unsolicited calls from companies or individuals claiming to help them recover money from their timeshare membership.

Individuals are advised to exercise caution when someone contacts them regarding their timeshare membership. They must refrain from providing any personal information or details about their timeshare membership to the caller. We also urge them to perform background checks on the company’s record before engaging in its services and to request a copy of documents relating to its proposals, offers, contracts and agreements.

Police also advised the public to exercise caution if the company was reluctant to provide documents. They should check with the timeshare developer if the company has dealt with the former in refunding the timeshare membership fee, and be extra careful if they are required to make advance payments.

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