Singapore: An Indian national, who worked in Singapore as a wireman, was today jailed for 32 months for threatening to post nude photos of 17 women online, according to media reports.

Mani Velmurugan, 28, posed as a Caucasian to the women whom he met last year through an online chat website called “Badoo”.

Using the photo of a Caucasian man for his profile, he told the women he was from Britain or Canada and introduced himself as Adam, Mark, Adam Mark or Mark Adam.

His victims, aged between 21 and 39, were from a range of professions such as clerk, manager and interior designer, The Straits Times reported.

District Judge Eddy Tham said a harsh sentence had to be imposed to deter like-minded individuals. The judge noted Velmurugan had continued to threaten one victim after having sex with her.

The district court heard that Velmurugan would send the women nude photographs purportedly of himself. He then tricked them into sending him their nude pictures and, in some cases, material like their passport information.

Velmurugan would then exchange phone numbers with the women and communicate with them via WhatsApp.

Some fell for the ploy and sent him photos of their work permits or National Registration Identity Cards when he claimed he needed them to grant the women access to his condominium.

In mitigation, the defence said Velmurugan is the father of three young children and the sole breadwinner. His wife is in India and he has a debt of SGD 30,000, according to a report by Channel News Asia.

The defence stressed that Velmurugn never carried out the threats to post the photos online. But he criminally intimidated the 17 women between May and August last year.

Velmurugan had faced a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail and a fine on each count.

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