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Singapore

9 men charged with cheating Citibank in S$206,000 personal loan fraud

9 men charged with cheating Citibank in S$206,000 personal loan fraud

File photo of a Citibank branch. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

SINGAPORE: Nine men were charged in court on Thursday (Dec 9) with conspiring to cheat Citibank into disbursing more than S$206,000 in fraudulent personal loans.

Of the nine men, three were contract workers seconded to the bank. They are: Kirk Chua Min Xuan, 28, who was given eight charges of conspiracy to cheat; Kurumoorthy Chandran, 26, who received three similar charges; and Jim Bryan Sim Jun Hong, 26, who received a cheating charge.

Among the men also charged on Thursday were loan applicants Navenkumar Ramakrishnan, 28, Noah Loo Yu Hong, 27, and Foo Jin Tai, 27. The remaining three men are: Yap Siang Eugene, 27, Chua Hong Wei, 28, and Ng Jia Hao, 25.

According to charge sheets, the men conspired to cheat Citibank in September 2018 by aiding those involved to submit false income or Central Provident Fund documents to the bank for a loan.

The bank was deceived into disbursing sums of between S$11,780 and S$24,795 to 14 people, based on false documents reflecting the applicant's monthly basic salaries of between S$6,200 and S$10,200.

Of the nine men, Kirk Chua faces the most charges. He is accused of being involved in eight separate conspiracies to cheat Citibank into disbursing such loans.

In one such scheme, Kirk Chua allegedly conspired with Muhammed Kamarul Ahmad Kamal as well as two men known only as "Charles" and "Jackson", in order to cheat Citibank around Sep 18, 2018.

As part of the conspiracy, Kamarul allegedly submitted false income documents stating that he was employed by Cognizant Technology Solutions with a monthly basic salary of S$10,200 in June 2018, July 2018 and August 2018. The bank was induced into giving him S$24,795. 

Court documents at this early charging stage did not reveal how the offences came to light. The nine men will return to court in January.

If convicted of conspiring to cheat, the men face up to 10 years' jail and a fine per charge.

When contacted by CNA, a spokesperson for Citibank Singapore said the three contract staff members had been seconded to Citibank from their agency, "and have not been working on Citibank-related matters since 2019". 

"It is not appropriate for us to comment further on a matter that’s still before the courts," the spokesperson added.

Source: CNA/ll(mi)

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