A British man faces caning and a prison sentence for allegedly conning members of an IT forum in Singapore.
Members of the VR-Zone forum used "mass ordering" to make savings when buying hardware - they teamed up to make large orders which earned them discounts. But Johnson Henry Plant, a 36-year-old British national, is accused of exploiting this to con $10,000 SGD (£3,700) out of over 50 forum members.
Plant is accused of winning forum members' trust by selling small items at cheap prices. He also set up other IDs in order to give himself favourable feedback.
He then allegedly claimed to have a source of hard discs for sale at a third less than retail prices, and collected orders and money from forum users. Over 50 have so far made police complaints. He provided elaborate excuses for not delivering the hard drives. He has also been accused of conning users of a remote control flying forum in Singapore.
Plant was reportedly arrested for overstaying his visa - punishable in Singapore with a minimum of three strokes of a bamboo cane.
He is reportedly also to be charged with cheating. If found guilty Plant faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.
Someone going by the name Johnson Henry Plant has also been accused of conducting similar scams from West Yorkshire targeting users of forums for remote controlled aircraft. There's more in the VR forums here. The VR forum is rethinking how it allows posters to conduct mass orders.
Caning was introduced to Singapore by the British, and requires prisoners to be tied to a trestle based on a British design. ®