SINGAPORE: Over almost three weeks, a 27-year-old man ordered more than S$700 worth of meals from food delivery applications, had them delivered to his neighbours’ flats and ate them without making payment.
For four counts of cheating, with an additional nine charges taken into consideration, Leonard Tan Tong Han was sentenced to seven days’ jail on Thursday (Sep 17).
Tan stayed in a 14th-floor flat in Choa Chu Kang, and carried out the deception by having food delivered to his neighbours’ flats on the floors just above and below his.
The court heard that Tan made several food orders on the GrabFood and Foodpanda mobile applications between Feb 25 and Mar 14, with no intention of paying for his orders.
He selected the “cash on delivery” payment option while ordering and before the food arrived, sent messages to the delivery riders telling them to leave the food outside the flat. He also told them he would make payment via PayLah! or PayNow.
When he saw that the food had arrived, he would go to his neighbours’ flats and collect the food from outside the flats. However, he did not make payment for the orders.
To carry out his scheme, Tan set up multiple accounts on the food delivery apps with fictitious names and random phone numbers so that he could not be subsequently contacted.
In one of the incidents on Mar 8, Tan ordered food from a restaurant in Gangsa Road via the Foodpanda app, under the fake name “Sammy Leong”.
He selected the “cash on delivery” option for the S$91.59 order, which he arranged to be delivered to his neighbour’s flat on the 13th floor.
In his order remarks on the application, Tan wrote: “Leave food above shoe rack … picking kids up from hospital. Just sms me your paynow number I will paynow and whatsapp you.”
The delivery rider placed the food on the shoe rack outside Tan’s neighbour’s flat, sent a photo of the delivery to a number Tan had given him and left.
DELIVERY RIDER SENSED SOMETHING WAS AMISS
Tan later picked up the food, but the food delivery rider sensed something was amiss when he received no reply to his photo. He returned to the flat and saw that the food was gone.
The rider knocked on the door of the flat, but the neighbour told him he had not placed any food delivery orders, adding that there had been similar incidents.
The rider reported the case to Foodpanda. The neighbour had filed a police report earlier on Feb 25, over two pizza delivery orders that had been sent to his home.
The total losses sustained by GrabFood and Foodpanda came to S$718.54. Tan has repaid the companies in full.
The judge allowed Tan to serve his sentence on Oct 1.
For each charge of cheating, he could have been jailed for up to three years, fined or both.