Singapore: A 51-year-old Indian woman was sentenced to seven months in jail by a Singapore court on Tuesday for deceiving an Indian man and his father out of more than SGD 5,000 by posing as a younger woman on a website of twinning.

Maliha Ramu had posted a fake profile for a 25-year-old single woman named Keerthana on the Tamil Matrimony website, TODAY newspaper reported.

Maliha used her parent’s photographs and avoided video calls saying she worked at an overseas military base and was not allowed to use a camera phone.

On Tuesday, she pleaded guilty to two counts of cheating, and three other similar counts were considered for sentencing.

She had already served a prison sentence some 15 years ago for similar offenses committed in 2006 and 2007, involving much larger sums of money. In one instance, she befriended victims in India and Australia, promising to marry them but cheating them out of SGD225,000 instead.

The court heard that at the time of her last offenses she was a widow and self-employed.

In November 2018, his victim’s father, Govindandhanasekaran Murallikrishna, created an account on the matchmaking site to find a partner for his 29-year-old son.

When the victim’s father contacted her through the website, she asked him to call her home number and speak to her mother. However, Maliha’s mother had died in 2002 and she was living alone. She posed as Keerthana’s mother and gave her approval for Govindandhanasekaran to talk to Keerthana.

From then on, posing as Keerthana, Maliha spoke to Govindandhanasekaran via text messages and WhatsApp calls.

She told them she worked as a counselor at a military base in Australia and was not allowed to use a camera phone. For this reason, she rejected his requests for video calls.

She also sent him photographs of her 27-year-old niece-in-law, who works for the Singapore Armed Forces, to trick him into thinking that was what Keerthena looked like.

She led him to believe that Keerthana would marry him when he returned from Australia, saying that his employment contract would end in May 2019. But when that date came, she further lied saying that his contract had been terminated. extended for a further three months.

She also said that her mother was sick and was in the United States with her brother, so she could not discuss their marriage with them.

She asked Govindandhanasekaran for money after he claimed she needed the money to help her social work clients. From December 2018 to October 2019, he transferred a total of SGD 4,750 to her four times. She also took back 1,000 SGD from her father.

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