SINGAPORE: A Malaysian man was sentenced to four years and three months' jail on Wednesday (Feb 12) after he participated in the staging of 14 traffic accidents between 2011 and 2013.
Tang Jui Peng, 45, was charged on Sep 12 last year for 53 charges relating to the accidents, which involved claims amounting to more than S$300,000, of which about S$95,000 was paid out, police said in a news release on Thursday.
He has been in remand since.
Investigations revealed Tang was a co-mastermind in a motor insurance fraud syndicate operating in Singapore. The syndicate's schemes involved stunt drivers, whom Tang instructed and drivers he helped recruit so the syndicate could use their vehicles for the accidents.
Tang also participated in recruiting phantom drivers or passengers for the purpose of submitting fraudulent claims for property damages and injuries, said police.
He was charged with 42 counts of engaging in a conspiracy to cheat, six counts of giving false information to a public servant and five counts of driving a motor vehicle on a road in a manner that is dangerous to the public.
Tang fled Singapore on Jan 2, 2013, before police started investigating the accidents. He was extradited back to Singapore on Sep 10 last year with the help of Malaysian police.
Tang's jail sentence took effect from the start of his remand.
TWO OTHER CONSPIRATORS CONVICTED
Two other members of the syndicate were also convicted recently.
The syndicate’s principal runner Ong Kok Hua, 62, was sentenced to four years and two months' jail on Sep 26 last year. He was convicted of 41 charges relating to 16 staged accidents between 2010 and 2013, as well as claims amounting to more than S$480,000, of which about S$162,000 was paid out.
The charges include 38 counts of engaging in a conspiracy to cheat, two counts of abetment to giving false information to a public servant and one count of abetment in the fabricating of false evidence in a judicial proceeding.
Ong was recruited into the motor insurance fraud syndicate sometime around 2010, police said.
“Acting under Tang’s and the other co-mastermind’s instructions, Ong allowed his particulars to be reported as purported drivers of motor vehicles involved in purportedly genuine accidents, recruited other persons to participate in the scams as ‘phantom’ drivers or passengers, and obtained vehicles to be used in the staged accidents,” they added.
Another member, Eswaran S/O Rajasevran, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and three strokes of the cane on Monday.
The 38-year-old worked as the recruiter for the syndicate.
He was convicted on 13 charges of engaging in a conspiracy to cheat and one count of abetment to giving false information to a public servant. These are related to five staged accidents from 2011 to 2012, involving claims totaling more than S$160,000, of which about S$24,000 was paid out.
He was also convicted of one charge of failing to provide a urine specimen under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Others involved in the scams have been sentenced and charged. In 2017, a Malaysian woman was also sentenced to 14 months’ jail for her role in the conspiracy.
Rekha Tandaeduban, 28, submitted a total of about S$37,000 in insurance claims for the staged accidents. She had been hired by the syndicate and entered Singapore with Tang, as well as another accomplice, Navaneethan Tiban Sanggu.