Fifth debt collector in Funan mall case sentenced to jail

Yong Chee Meng, 41, was sentenced to six months' jail on Monday (May 29).
Yong Chee Meng, 41, was sentenced to six months' jail on Monday (May 29). ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Another former employee of debt collection company Double Ace who created a scene at a soup stall at the former Funan DigitaLife Mall was sentenced to six months' jail on Monday (May 29).

Yong Chee Meng, 41, is the fifth man to be sentenced. He had admitted to being a member of an unlawful assembly and mischief at a Soup Master stall at Food Junction in Funan mall, and causing hurt to a 23-year-old man in Buangkok Crescent with Francis Lee Sian Sian, 40.

Bail of $20,000 was allowed pending his appeal against the sentence.

Yong, Lee, Andra Chew Keng Leng, 40, and Lim Boon Tiong, 43, had met at Food Junction on Jan 15, 2015. They confronted a cashier, Ms Li Lili, 36, over a supposed debt owed by the stall owner.

They told her that they were there to collect the amount from the owner, failing which they would disrupt the stall's operations by harassing potential patrons.

They took turns to stand in front of the stall to chase away potential customers. They told Ms Li to call her boss to go down to account for the alleged debt owed.

But the victim immediately went to the management office to inform the manager on duty. Security personnel were also dispatched to the scene.

 
 

Two more staff of Double Ace, Tang Wei Leong ,45, and David Tan, 37, arrived separately.

The group refused to leave and demanded the money in the till. But management staff stopped them from taking the money.

Police came and issued them a verbal warning. The group refused to leave and unfurled a banner stating that debt recovery was in process.

Tang and Tan remained at the stall for about an hour before leaving the premises.

Their colleagues who stayed behind became violent when the debtor still failed to turn up at about 3pm.

Yong kicked a rice cooker and shoved a cash register onto the floor. Chew threw various food items into a large pot of soup, destroying it.

The police were called again but the four men fled before the officers arrived.

The total damage caused was $880.

Chew, Tan, Lim and Tang have been sentenced to between three and five months jail each.

Lee, who had pleaded guilty, had asked for an adjournment to wrap up 31 other outstanding charges. He intends to plead guilty except for a rioting charge.