Indian national faces jail, canning for extortion in Singapore

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Singapore: A 35-year-old Indian national, who tried to extort half-a-million Singapore dollars from Standard Chartered Bank here, was charged in court here.

Nagarajan Balajee faces a jail term of between two and five years and caning under a charge of “attempting to commit extortion,” The Straits Times reported Wednesday.

According to court documents, Balajee had allegedly threatened to publish a defamatory libel concerning Aalishaan Zaidi, 47, the global head of digital banking at Standard Chartered Bank, unless he paid SGD 500,000.

Zaidi was one of a few bank employees who received the threatening e-mails sent anonymously. He made the police report on the bank’s behalf.

Balajee was arrested on September 30 along Kovan Road in suburbun Singapore. Several laptops and mobile phones were seized from him in connection with the case, the police said.

The bank had made a police report last Thursday about how it had been threatened with a leakage of confidential information.

Balajee is believed to have used multiple fictitious e-mail accounts to deliver the threats to the bank anonymously, according to The Straits Times.

Preliminary investigations by the police also found that he might have used overseas registered mobile lines and virtual private network (VPN) services to mask his identity, to evade detection. VPNs allow unauthorised content from overseas to be accessed by users.

Balajee is currently out on SGD 20,000 bail and will be back in court on October 30.