- POSTED: 10 Sep 2013 21:01
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A man was on Tuesday sentenced to 48 months' jail and fined S$30,000 for cheating and loansharking offences.
SINGAPORE: A man was on Tuesday sentenced to 48 months' jail and fined S$30,000 for cheating and loansharking offences.
Goh Sze Liang, 25, had agreed to work for a loanshark by making calls to debtors in order to pay off the S$60,000 debt he owed him.
However, he went a step further and devised a scheme to cheat the debtors so that part of the money collected could be used to service his own debt.
Between January and April this year, the 25-year-old tried to cheat more than 160 people and succeeded in getting some S$22,000 from 15 of them.
Goh was jailed 48 months and fined S$30,000 by a district court for his crimes. He will also serve another six weeks in jail in default as he cannot pay the fine.
The court heard that Goh would send text messages to numbers selected at random from a database provided by the loanshark that contained personal particulars of debtors.
He would claim in his messages that these debtors owed him money and threatened to harass them at home if they did not make immediate repayment.
Many victims believed Goh’s threats and handed over the money out of fear as Goh would include their names and identification card numbers in his text messages.
The court also heard that Goh would target debtors who – through their communication with him -- appeared afraid or unsure about whether they owed Goh money.
Even after the victims had made payment, Goh continued to harass them for more money by calling and texting them incessantly, leading some of them to lodge police reports.
The Deputy Public Prosecutor pointed out that Goh had taken full advantage of the loansharks' fearsome reputation to convince his victims that the threats he made would be carried out, and that his actions were driven by greed.
In sentencing, the District Judge pointed out that Goh's offences were very serious.