Man jailed and fined for handing over ATM cards to help loanshark in his business

SINGAPORE - A petroleum inspector who handed over two ATM cards to an unlicensed moneylender to facilitate his moneylending business was jailed for one month and fined $30,000 on Tuesday.

David Jude Tupaz, 33, admitted to one of two charges of handing over his POSB ATM card and its corresponding PIN to a loanshark known as "Darren" last December.

A district court heard that sometime last year, "Darren" offered Tupaz $200 a month to use his bank account and ATM card. "Darren" told Tupaz that the account would be used for illegal activities.

In early December, Tupaz handed over two ATM cards, including a POSB ATM card linked to his account, to the man at the void deck of Block 416, Bedok North Avenue 2. Tupaz also gave the corresponding PIN to Darren, who promised to pay him $200 a month for each account.

Subsequently, Tupaz found that there were multiple transactions performed using the account daily.

Despite knowing that the account would be used to facilitate an unlicensed moneylending business, he allowed "Darren" to continue using it as he wanted to earn the extra cash.

The account was used to receive illegal loan repayments and also to disburse illegal loans via fund transfers from December till June this year, when Tupaz closed the account. More than $170,000 had passed through the account, the court heard.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok told the court that Tupaz was not a debtor who had been driven to commit the offences. It was clear he was motivated purely by financial gains.

District Judge Toh Yung Cheong said helping an unlicensed moneylender is a serious offence.

Tupaz, who had the other charge taken into consideration, could have been jailed for up to four years and fined up to $300,000.