Indian jailed in Oz for extorting money from compatriot woman

Jail bars
Melbourne, Aug 19: An Indian national, who impersonated as an immigration officer to extort thousands of dollars from a compatriot woman student, was today (Aug 19) jailed for two years by an Australian court.

30-year-old Jasbir Singh threatened the married woman with deportation, forcing her to hand over her passport and financial details to him. He also extorted 2,300 dollars from her in May 2009, a Victorian county court heard.

Jasbir Singh made a series of claims and threats to the 22-year-old woman over a one-week period, including that he could guarantee her permanent residency if she agreed to marry him, the Australian Associated Press reported.

Judge Jane Campton said it was ironic that Singh himself feared being deported. "I accept that you came to Australia for a better life and to follow the immigrant dream, but that it has not worked out as you expected," he was quoted as saying.

"While I accept that you fear being deported, the irony is that you instilled this same fear in your victim. Your offending involved impersonation of an immigration officer and it was sustained and calculated. You persisted with threats even when on one occasion, she broke down and wept."

Singh, who came to Australia on a spouse visa with his student wife in 2008, had raised concerns at his pre-sentence hearing that he would be deported and asked for a non-custodial sentence.

Singh initially approached the victim when she was distributing leaflets in central Melbourne and promised to get her a better job. 


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