Alleged loan-shark runner charged over torching of flat

Ashyik is accused of damaging a Toh Guan Road flat in connection with an illegal loan taken by the victim's neighbour. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Ashyik is accused of damaging a Toh Guan Road flat in connection with an illegal loan taken by the victim's neighbour.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

THE man suspected of torching the exterior of a Housing Board unit in Jurong East over a loan taken by the victim's neighbour was charged yesterday.

Mohamed Ashyik Mohamed Shawal, 31, allegedly caused damage to the 12th-floor flat in Toh Guan Road last Friday.

This was in connection with an illegal loan taken by a neighbour living on a floor below.

He is accused of using Zippo lighter fluid to set the fire, and writing loan-shark graffiti on the 12th-floor lift landing with an indelible black marker.

He allegedly did these things on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender known as Denzel.

Ashyik is being remanded at the Central Police Division for a week for investigation as he is believed to be involved in a series of similar cases.

He was arrested on Monday in Toa Payoh.

Police also seized cans of paint, bicycle chain locks and marker pens.

Ashyik's request to be sent for psychiatric observation at the Institute of Mental Health was rejected by District Judge Eddy Tham, who fixed his case for mention on June 24.

If convicted of loan-shark harassment, Ashyik could be jailed for up to five years and fined between $5,000 and $50,000, with caning of three to six strokes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2015, with the headline 'Alleged loan-shark runner charged over torching of flat'. Print Edition | Subscribe