I think lawyer Yeo Poh Tiang — whom the Sunday Times revealed on Jan 9 as the woman who put herself up as bait to lure sex exploiter, fraudster, criminal Chen Guilin aka Gary Ng into the arms of the police — is a very brave woman.
As brave as an erstwhile friend of mine who makes it her business to tell louts who hog seats on the MRT that she runs into to give up them up for people who need them.
Actually, sometimes those whom she seeks to help are somewhat embarrassed, even fearful — of the consequences of her intervention. They would rather travel in discomfort than cause a scene and perhaps get hurt in the end, should the louts turn nasty.
Similarly, I feel fearful for Ms Yeo. You’ve got your man. Why come into the open about your exploit?
Were you in line to get a police reward, like that given to people who catch snatch thieves when they respond to calls of “help, help”? Even if you were and wanted the photo opportunity for your archives, you should have thought twice.
Why trade several days of fame — including a full splash in the wide-reaching Sunday Times — for possible future harm, even if that is as slim as a five-cent coin?
This Gary Ng chap is both kinky and cunning. What if he isn’t rehabilitated after his jail term and life in future sours further for him? What if his thinking grows more warped than it already is? And begin to finger the cause of his downfall: instead of pointing at himself, he will most likely point it at the person who set the trap for him.
Hopefully for Ms Yeo, Gary Ng rehabilitates well. Turns over a new leaf and be an inspiration to all jail birds.
But, if I were in Ms Yeo’s shoe, I won’t have gambled on that. Or on the efficacy of our law enforcement. As our police always tell us: low crime doesn’t mean no crime!
Lawyer Yeo Poh Tiang revealed how she lured ‘Gary Ng’, before his arrest.
(reproduced from Yahoo’s Fit to Post Blog)
His next ‘potential conquest’ had apparently set up a rendezvous in a hotel. But unknown to ‘Gary Ng’, it was a trap to get him arrested.
Ms Yeo Poh Tiang, a lawyer, decided to lure him into the open, first by chatting with him online for hours – he had posted his e-mail address on his blog.
Later, she gave him her mobile number and they set up a rendezvous at Amara Hotel. Unknown to him, she had tipped off the police.
However, when Ms Yeo, 30, was just about to leave her office in Tanjong Pagar for the appointment, the police had called the operation off. Chen was nabbed at home that night, after she had given the police some leads.
“I think it’s a waste that the ambush didn’t go through, but things turned out well in the end, so I have nothing to complain about,” she told The Sunday Times with a shrug.
She had devised the plan after several women whom Chen had cheated of their money approached her for help late last year.
“It’s not a creative tactic – I’m just doing something extra for my clients, trying to think of ways to help them,” said Ms Yeo, who studied law at Birmingham University in Britain and had just set up her law firm last year.
“Any lawyer can do it. An old male lawyer can also pretend to be a paedophile on the Internet.”
Her target, known to netizens as ‘Gary Ng’, who was infamous for the filmed sexual exploits that he posted online, is Chen Guilin in real life.
Chen pleaded guilty last Tuesday to possessing 507 obscene films, of which more than 480 were clips of him having sex with different women.
The former property agent also admitted in court to seven other offences, including breaking into the home of his client while she was away, forgery and criminal breach of trust.
Ms Yeo’s actions on the other hand have apparently brought her some fame. Some current and previous clients also called her. ‘They told me things like, I’m so proud of you!’ she said, with a laugh.
Her retired father, 60, used to run a business manufacturing fish maw, while her 55-year-old mother is a housewife.
The media attention on the case, however, has caused a few of her clients to reconsider pursuing a civil suit against Chen.
“A couple of them have decided not to proceed… they are thinking it over. I think it’s because of the media stress,” said Ms Yeo.
Chen was reportedly arrested in October last year after some women made police reports against him, saying he had cheated them of money.
In all, he committed 21 offences over a four-year period from 2006 to June last year, involving property worth S$171,770. He initially faced 21 charges but 13 were taken into consideration.
While Chen is currently out on a S$72,000 bail, he will be sentenced on Jan 19. For forgery, he faces a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine on each charge.
In addition, for housebreaking, he can be jailed up to 10 years while for possessing obscene films, Chen can be jailed up to six months.