Man jailed after failed attempt to get another man to ‘tailgate’ into Taylor Swift concert


Wu Zhihong passed Yan Shuqing a lanyard with “VIP” imprinted on it, in an attempt to create the false impression that Yan had a valid ticket. - COURT DOCUMENTS, ST FILE

SINGAPORE: A man who attempted to get another man to “tailgate” a concertgoer into Taylor Swift’s concert has been jailed for two weeks in what is believed to be the Republic’s first concluded prosecution linked to the American pop star’s Eras Tour.

Eleven days after the failed attempt on March 7, Chinese national Wu Zhihong, 54, had to face the music as he pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal trespass.

Appearing in court on March 18 via video-link from remand and speaking via a Mandarin interpreter, Wu said: “I never knew that there would be such serious consequences for this.”

The court heard that between February and March 2024, Yan Shuqing, 20, searched Chinese e-commerce platforms for resale Singapore Eras Tour tickets.

ALSO READ: 37 victims of Taylor Swift concert ticket scams in S’pore set up Telegram group to expose scammer

He bought a ticket online for 3,000 yuan (S$570) from a seller on March 6. The seller told him to arrive at the National Stadium ahead of the concert on March 7 – Swift’s fourth show – for his “staff” to help him go through the gates.

On the day of the concert, Yan met Wu at the Singapore Sports Hub, where Wu gave him a lanyard and an A4-sized Taylor Swift poster.

The two men entered the security check area, where concertgoers’ personal belongings were being checked.

ALSO READ: At least 960 people in Singapore lost over RM1.89mil in 10 weeks to Taylor Swift concert ticket scams

Wu was charged with criminal trespass for entering this area as he had intended to dupe security officers into believing that Yan had a valid concert ticket when he did not.

After their belongings were checked, Wu gave Yan another concert lanyard with “VIP” imprinted on it. It was genuine and meant for VIP Eras Tour ticket holders. Court documents did not mention how Wu had obtained it.

Wu also gave Yan a friendship bracelet, an accessory that was commonly worn and traded by fans at the concerts.

To enter the National Stadium, concertgoers had to scan their tickets at a turnstile gate. But Wu told Yan he did not need to do so, and could just “tailgate” any concertgoer who was passing through.

Wu told Yan that if he was stopped by security officers, he could still enter by presenting the lanyard and friendship bracelet, and telling the officers that he had friends inside the stadium.

CCTV footage played in court shows Wu, who wore a white Eras Tour T-shirt and a black cap, guiding Yan to the queue at the turnstile gate.

As the woman in front of Yan scanned her ticket and entered, Wu shoved Yan so that he could also pass through the turnstile gate.

At the same time, Wu showed the security officer his phone as if he was trying to communicate with him in a bid to distract the officer from noticing Yan.

But another officer noticed the act and stopped Yan, who was escorted out of the National Stadium.

After the failed attempt, Wu transferred 3,000 yuan to Yan and told him not to reveal their transaction to the police.

Wu then went to another gate and “tailgated” another concertgoer into the National Stadium. An informant subsequently called the police and officers arrested Wu at the scene.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Darren Ang said no prosecutorial action was taken against Yan.

During investigations, Wu admitted that he is not a Taylor Swift fan. He was unable to explain why he was found with seven other friendship bracelets, similar to the one he had passed to Yan.

DPP Ang called for Wu to be jailed for between two and four weeks, noting there is evidence that Wu was involved in an arrangement to target Singapore for criminal activities.

Wu had entered Singapore on March 5, 2024, on a social visit pass. He had never entered the country before that.

DPP Ang also noted that Wu’s actions caused disquiet to other concertgoers.

He said in his written submissions: “Fundamentally, this concerned a hugely popular event, generating significant local and regional attention. Safety and security are a paramount consideration on the premises.

“Consequently, actions which disrupt or undermine these efforts must be uncompromisingly dealt with.”

Wu’s case is one of several criminal cases linked to Swift’s concerts in Singapore.

Three men were nabbed for allegedly helping four others sneak into the event without tickets on March 4.

Two of them, Chinese nationals Yang Chenguang, 29, and Li Xiao Wei, 45, were charged on March 6 for helping three of the trespassers.

The authorities are also going after concert ticket scammers.

A Singaporean woman, Foo Mei Qi, 29, was charged with cheating on March 12. She allegedly duped a woman into transferring S$350 for tickets to Swift’s opening show, and is believed to be linked to other similar cases involving losses of more than $24,000.

The Singapore leg of Swift’s Eras Tour wrapped up with her sixth show on March 9.

She is the first female act to headline six shows at the National Stadium, with more than 368,000 people attending the event. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , court , Taylor Swift , concert , tailgate

   

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