- POSTED: 13 Dec 2013 12:26
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Two former real estate salespersons have been convicted and sentenced for offences including referring their clients to moneylenders.
SINGAPORE: Two former real estate salespersons have been convicted and sentenced for offences including referring their clients to moneylenders.
They are 52-year-old Mustafa Kamal Seri and 39-year-old Ghazali Bin Mohamed Rasul, both Singaporeans.
The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) said in a statement on Friday that Ghazali is also the first salesperson it has prosecuted for money-lending offences.
Mustafa was sentenced in court on December 12 to 11-and-a-half months' jail and a fine of S$18,000.
The sentence includes a two-week jail term and a fine of S$15,000 for referring his clients to a licensed moneylender, plus another fine of S$3,000 for handling transaction monies for his clients.
Other offences covered in the sentence include cheating and criminal breach of trust.
In February 2012, a married couple had engaged Mustafa to sell their four-room HDB flat and buy a three-room flat in Yishun.
He subsequently approached his clients for a personal loan of S$50,000 and requested that they borrow the sum from a moneylender to advance him the loan and repay the moneylender using the sales proceeds of their flat.
Between February and April 2012, Mustafa brought his clients to a licensed moneylender to obtain three cash loans totalling $57,500.
The couple handed S$50,000 to Mustafa after the money lender deducted S$7,500 as acceptance fees for the loans.
After the sale transaction was completed in May 2012, the clients repaid S$79,925 to the moneylender from the sales proceeds.
In July 2012, the husband handed Mustafa S$15,000 in cash, which Mustafa then handed to his clients' law firm in July 2012 to complete their purchase of the three-room HDB flat.
CEA said Mustafa's case was aggravated as he had caused his clients to be indebted to a moneylender while he used the loan for his own benefit.
As a result, his clients could not afford to renovate their new flat to make it habitable.
Ghazali was sentenced on December 11 to a fine of S$18,000 for referring his client to a licensed money lender and receiving a referral fee from the moneylender.
In June 2011, Ghazali introduced his client to a licensed moneylender for an initial loan of S$7,000.
The licensed moneylender gave the client S$6,300 after deducting S$700 as an upfront fee.
The moneylender gave Ghazali a payment of S$150 as referral fee.
The client approached the moneylender for further loans.
After the sale transaction was completed in October 2011, the client repaid a total of $26,500 to the moneylender from the sales proceeds.
CEA said Ghazali had exposed his client to the risks of indebtedness.
His client had to repay the loans from the moneylender using proceeds from his flat's sale transaction, in addition to paying the commission for the sales transaction to Ghazali.
Subsequently, his client was unable to afford a replacement flat as he could not get a loan.
In its statement, CEA said it does not condone any collusion of its estate agents with moneylenders.
The council said consumers can report errant agents and salespersons by phone at 1800-643 2555 or feedback@cea,gov.sg.