Alleged loanshark runner charged with setting fire to flat in Jurong East

Loanshark runner Mohamed Ashyik Mohamed Shawal, 31, is accused of setting fire to two Toh Guan road flats.
Loanshark runner Mohamed Ashyik Mohamed Shawal, 31, is accused of setting fire to two Toh Guan road flats.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A man was charged in court on Wednesday with causing annoyance to a house occupant by setting fire to his HDB flat for a loan taken by another resident.

No plea was taken from Mohamed Ashyik Mohamed Shawal, 31.

He is accused of acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, known as Denzel, to torch a 12th-floor unit at Toh Guan Road in Jurong East by using flammable lighter fluid. He also wrote loanshark graffiti on the 12th-floor lift landing at 11.52pm on June 12.

The charge states that he caused annoyance to the house occupant in connection with an illegal loan taken by his neighbour on the 11th floor.

He was tracked down by police cameras mounted near the incident.

Ashyik was arrested on Monday in Toa Payoh. Cans of paint, bicycle chain locks and marker pens were seized.

He was remanded at Central Police Division for further investigation as he is believed to be involved in a series of similar incidents.

Ashyik's request to be sent to the Institute of Mental Health was turned down by District Judge Eddy Tham.

He will appear in court on June 24.

If convicted, he could be jailed for up to five years, fined up to $50,000 and given three to six strokes of the cane.