TRAVEL

Indian-origin woman jailed in Singapore for cheating as travel agent

SINGAPORE: A 55-yr-outdated Indian-origin woman in Singapore was sentenced to 20 weeks’ jail on Tuesday for misappropriating all around 35,000 Singapore Bucks from consumers who had compensated her for tour offers to India and Dubai that in no way materialised, according to a media report.
S Leelavadi, who labored as a freelance journey agent for about a ten years without the requisite licence to do so, cheated at the very least eight victims over 19 phony visits to India and the town of Dubai, described today newspaper.
The Singaporean pleaded guilty earlier this calendar year to one legal breach of belief demand and two counts of practising as a vacation agent with out a licence from the Singapore tourism board.
7 other related rates had been taken into thing to consider for sentencing.
Leelavadi will not start out serving her sentence immediately as she intends to file an appeal, the report reported.
The court docket listened to that she began doing work as a freelance travel agent someday in 2000, only stopping for a several months in 2004 when she joined a certified journey company.
When she struck out on her own, she advised consumers that she could book tours for them to India and Dubai. She encouraged them on how to travel there, where by to continue to be and their itinerary, and gave them a quotation for their wanted tour.
They would then pay out her a 500 Singapore Pounds deposit which she explained was needed to make the applicable bookings. She directed them to make payments in hard cash or by way of a bank transfer to her mother’s lender account.
In the months just before the departure date, she would chase them for the stability payments while sending them itineraries and advising them on various elements of their trips, these kinds of as insurance policy, currency trade and neighborhood excursions, the report reported.
Every time the day of departure drew shut or had handed and the outings did not materialise, she would lie to the clients that her mother was hospitalised or in the intensive treatment device, so that they would postpone the journey or settle for a refund.
When prospects pressed her for the aircraft tickets so they could go on their individual, she would say she could not provide them.
She finished up pocketing 34,950 Singapore Bucks from eight victims involving 2013 and 2017.
One these kinds of sufferer was 82-12 months old Muniyandi Karuppayee whom Leelavadi presented to organize a tour to Kasi for 2,400 Singapore dollars in 2017.
On the prepared date of the excursion, Karuppayee packed her baggage and waited for Leelavadi to give her a carry to the airport. Leelavadi did not switch up and did not decide up the shop owner’s calls.
Two days later on, she termed and claimed her mom had been hospitalised. She was unable to show any proof that she experienced even booked flight tickets for the excursion.
That exact same year, Leelavadi also offered to prepare a seven-day tour to Dubai for 8 people. The group compensated her a whole of 15,450 Singapore Bucks.
The working day in advance of the journey, she asked them to postpone it, stating her mom experienced endured a heart assault that morning. She independently told 1 of them that the trip experienced to be cancelled as she was expected to attend a court hearing soon.
As of mid-past calendar year, Leelavadi had produced full restitution to her victims.
For legal breach of have faith in, she could have been jailed for up to 7 years or fined, or both.
For doing work as an unlicensed vacation agent, she could have been jailed for up to two decades or fined up to 10,000 Singapore Bucks, or both.