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The New Paper
Jan 23, 2020
He was offered sex for cash while chatting with a woman on Facebook.
But once the 42-year-old man got undressed in her flat, the woman's husband stormed into the bedroom with a kris, threatening to stab him and report him for rape.
All this was a ruse hatched by Shahberin Soet, 45, and his wife Siti Khairianti Mohd Taib, 41, to extort money from the man, who was made to hand over $70 and write an IOU for $400.
Pleading guilty to robbery by night and two unrelated theft charges, Shahberin was yesterday jailed for three years and 10 months and given 12 strokes of the cane. Two other charges were taken into consideration.
District Judge Christopher Tan also gave Shahberin an enhanced sentence of 115 days' jail as he committed the robbery while out on a remission order.
Siti first befriended the victim, who cannot be named to protect his identity, on Facebook on May 4, 2017.
She asked Shahberin to use a kris in their home to scare the victim, who went to their flat at about 1.30am the next day.
Shahberin hid in the kitchen toilet while Siti led the man to the bedroom and told him to undress.
Once his wife texted him to alert him, Shahberin grabbed the kris from the living room and entered the bedroom, shouting and taking photos of the victim who was naked and lying on the bed.
The man said Siti told him she was a divorcee, but Shahberin pointed the kris at him and said he could stab him if he wanted.
This frightened the victim, Deputy Public Prosecutor Angela Ang told the court, so he handed over the $70 he had on him and wrote an IOU for $400.
But as the victim was leaving, he noticed Shahberin giving Siti a thumbs-up sign and realised he had been set up.
He ignored subsequent calls and texts from Shahberin, knowing it was a scam, and made a police report on May 25, 2017.
At the time, Shahberin was on a remission order after his release from prison on April 29.
DPP Ang said the robbery was clearly premeditated and the reliance on the Internet to entrap victims was aggravating.
The night before, Shahberin and Siti had also extorted a 22-year-old man out of $200 using the same modus operandi.
Defence lawyer Alice Tan argued Shahberin played a subordinate role and there was no actual application of violence.
She said her client regrets his actions as he will miss his six-year-old daughter's formative years. His wife could be looking at an even longer prison term, Ms Tan said, and her case is still pending before the courts.
Those convicted of robbery after 7pm and before 7am must be jailed for between three and 14 years, and given at least 12 strokes of the cane.