Alleged loanshark runner faces 26 more charges, bringing total to 27

Mohamed Ashyik Mohamed Shawal faces 26 more charges after being remanded at Central police division for a week for investigation.
Mohamed Ashyik Mohamed Shawal faces 26 more charges after being remanded at Central police division for a week for investigation. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A man who was charged last week with torching the home of an innocent person, over a loan taken by someone living a floor below, faced 26 more charges on Wednesday.

Last week, Mohamed Ashyik Mohamed Shawal, 31, was charged with setting fire to a Housing Board flat at a block in Toh Guan Road.

On Wednesday 26 more charges, including three of handing over his bank ATM cards to a loanshark, were slapped on him.

New charges include four accusing him of setting fire to Housing Board units. One of them was a unit on the same floor as the Toh Guan Road flat in last week's case.

He also allegedly acted on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender when he allegedly burnt paper to set fire to a flat in Boon Lay Drive on June 9.

Later that evening, he allegedly went to set fire to a corridor window of a Woodlands Avenue 1 flat and pasted a debtor note on the ledge of the unit's sliding window.

Later that day, he allegedly damaged a flat in Woodlands Drive 44 and scribbled on the lift landing wall about a loan taken by another resident.

On June 13, he allegedly tried to set fire to a unit in Woodlands Circle and used an indelible red marker to draw graffiti on the wall.

Also among the new charges are that he allegedly acted on behalf of another loanshark when he not only used indelible markers to draw graffiti but also used bicycle chain locks to secure the main gates of nine units at various locations between June 11 and 14.

The prosecution applied for an adjournment to obtain bank reports before tendering any further charges.

Bail of $80,000 was offered and Ashyik will return to court on July 22.

The maximum punishment for loanshark harassment is five years' jail, a $50,000 fine and six strokes of the cane.

If convicted of helping an unlicensed moneylender, he could be fined between $30,000 and $300,000 and jailed for up to four years.