Extortion in Singapore – FAQs

Extortion in Singapore – FAQs

What does Extortion generally mean?

Extortion is the illegal acquisition of money or property by intimidation. Threats to injure a person or his property, threats to accuse him of a crime, or threats to expose humiliating information are all instances of extortion if done to acquire property from another.

What is the legal explanation for Extortion?

Extortion is committed when someone intentionally puts another person in fear of harm to their body, mind, reputation, or property, whether that harm is to be caused legally or illegally, and then dishonestly induces that person to deliver to any person any property or valuable security, or anything signed or sealed that may be converted into a valuable security.

Which legal provision provides for the Offence of Extortion?

The definition of extortion is mentioned under section 383 of the Penal Code.

What are the Elements of Extortion?

The elements of the offence of extortion are:

a) Intentionally putting a person in fear of injury to himself or another; and
b) Thereby dishonestly inducing that person so put in fear to deliver to any person any property or valuable security etc.

What are some Illustrations of Extortion?

The following examples as to what amounts to extortion are set out in the illustrations given below:

  • Unless Z pays him money, A threatens to publish a defamatory libel against him. As a result, he persuades Z to give him money. Extortion has been committed by A.
  • A warns Z that unless Z signs and delivers to A a promissory note compelling Z to pay specific sums to A, he would detain Z’s kid in wrongful confinement. The note is signed and delivered by Z. Extortion has been committed by A.

What are the Extortion-Related Offences mentioned in the Penal Code?

The Penal Code provides for offences which are closely related to extortion. These offences are mentioned in the Penal Code from sections 385-389. The offences are:

a) Putting a person in fear of harm in order to commit extortion
b) Extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt
c) Putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt in order to commit extortion
d) Extortion by threat of accusation of an offence punishable with death, or imprisonment, etc.
e) Putting a person in fear of accusation of offence, in order to commit extortion

What is the Offence of Putting a Person in Fear of Harm in order to Commit Extortion?

In order to commit extortion, if a person puts or even attempts to put another in fear of any harm to himself or any other person, whether such harm is caused legally or illegally, such a person is said to have committed the offence of putting a person in fear of harm in order to commit extortion. Such harm can be to the body, mind, reputation or property. This offence is mentioned under section 385 of the Penal Code.

What is Extortion by Putting a Person in Fear of Death or Grievous Hurt?

This offence is an aggravated form of extortion mentioned under section 386 of the Penal Code. If the offence of extortion is committed by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt to that person or anyone else, the offence under section 386 is said to have been committed. The imprisonment term for this offence is longer than the punishment for general extortion.

What is the Offence of Putting a Person in Fear of Death or Grievous Hurt in order to Commit Extortion?

The offence of putting a person in fear of death or of grievous hurt in order to commit extortion is mentioned under section 387 of the Penal Code. If a person puts or even attempts to put another in fear of death or of grievous hurt to himself or anyone else, in order to commit extortion, such person is said to have committed the offence of putting a person in fear of death or of grievous hurt in order to commit extortion.

What is Extortion by Threat of Accusation of an Offence Punishable with Death, or Imprisonment, etc.?

If extortion is committed by a person by putting another in fear of an accusation of:

a) Having committed, or attempted to commit, an offence punishable with death; or
b) Having committed, or attempted to commit, an offence punishable with imprisonment for life; or
c) Having committed, or attempted to commit, an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years; or
d) Having attempted to induce any other person to commit such an offence

Such a person is said to have committed the offence of extortion by threat of accusation of an offence punishable with death, or imprisonment, etc. This is also an aggravated form of extortion and is mentioned under section 388 of the Penal Code.

Can the threat of accusation be against a third person?

The accusation can be against the victim of extortion or any other person as well.

What is the Offence of Putting a Person in Fear of Accusation of Offence, in order to Commit Extortion?

If in order to commit extortion, an individual puts another person or attempts to put another person in fear of an accusation of:

a) Having committed, or attempted to commit, an offence punishable with death; or
b) Having committed, or attempted to commit, an offence punishable with imprisonment for life; or
c) Having committed, or attempted to commit, an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years

Such an individual is said to have committed the offence of putting a person in fear of accusation of offence, in order to commit extortion.

Can such an accusation be made against a third party?

It is mentioned under section 389 of the Penal Code and states that the accusation can be made against any person even if such person is not a direct victim of the offence.

What is the General Punishment for Extortion?

Extortion is punishable by imprisonment for not less than 2 years and not more than 7 years, as well as caning. The punishment for extortion is mentioned under section 384 of the Penal Code.

What is the Punishment for Putting a Person in Fear of Harm in order to Commit Extortion?

The offence of putting a person in fear of harm in order to commit extortion is punishable by imprisonment for a period of not less than 2 years and not more than 5 years, as well as caning, as mentioned under section 385 of the Penal Code.

What is the Punishment for Extortion by Putting a Person in Fear of Death or Grievous Hurt?

Extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt is punishable by imprisonment for a period of not less than 2 years and not more than 10 years, as well as caning, as mentioned under section 386 of the Penal Code.

What is the Punishment for Putting a Person in Fear of Death or Grievous Hurt in order to Commit Extortion?

The offence of putting a person in fear of death or of grievous hurt in order to commit extortion is punishable by imprisonment for a period of not less than 2 years and not more than 7 years, as well as caning, as mentioned under section 387 of the Penal Code.

What is the Punishment for Extortion by Threat of Accusation of an Offence Punishable with Death, or Imprisonment, etc.?

Extortion by threat of accusation of an offence punishable with death, or imprisonment, etc. is punishable by imprisonment for a period of up to 10 years, as well as a fine or caning, as mentioned under section 388 of the Penal Code.

What is the Punishment for Putting a Person in Fear of Accusation of Offence, in order to Commit Extortion?

The offence of putting a person in fear of accusation of offence, in order to commit extortion is punishable by imprisonment for a period of up to 10 years, as well as a fine or caning, as mentioned under section 389 of the Penal Code.

Can Emotional Manipulation be considered Extortion?

Extortion is said to be committed and is punishable under the Penal Code as long as the emotional manipulation instils fear in the victim, compelling him/her to surrender his/her property or valuable possessions to the offender.

When is Extortion classified as Robbery?

If the offender is in the presence of a person put in fear at the time of the extortion and commits the extortion by putting that person in fear of instant death, instant hurt, or instant wrongful restraint to that person or another person, and by doing so, induces the person put in fear to deliver up the thing extorted then and there, then extortion can be classified as robbery. This is mentioned under section 390(3) of the Penal Code.