Motor insurance cheat jailed 44 months, banned from driving for 5 years after his release

Tew Yee Jeng will be disqualified from driving for five years after his release from prison.
Tew Yee Jeng will be disqualified from driving for five years after his release from prison.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A 40-year-old man, who was part of a syndicate which set up fake road accidents in order to cheat $104,700 from insurance companies through fraudulent claims, was jailed for 44 months on Tuesday (Jan 12).

Tew Yee Jeng, a Malaysian, will also be disqualified from driving for five years after his release from prison.

He had pleaded guilty in November last year to three charges of conspiring to cheat, and a count each of scheming to drive in a reckless manner and of conspiring to give false information to the police.

Tew also admitted to another seven charges which were taken into consideration during sentencing.

A district court had heard that Tew, a ceiling board installer, would recruit accomplices and instruct them to brake suddenly while driving on the roads, so that an unsuspecting vehicle would crash into the back of their cars.

In all, fake property damage and personal injury claims amounting to $104,768 were submitted by the syndicate for three car accidents, which took place in July 2014, April 2012 and Jan 2012.

A total of $18,258 was paid out by two insurance companies in relation to these false claims.

On one of the occasions, on July 3, 2014, Tew and three accomplices - two of whom were Malaysians - drove around Woodlands looking for a suitable vehicle to target.

At about 9.45pm, while travelling along Woodlands Avenue 9, Tew slowed down his red Totoya Altis and told an accomplice travelling behind him, who had his mobile phone on speaker mode, to jam the brakes on his Singapore-registered white Toyota Estima.

The heavy vehicle that was travelling behind the accomplice's car was not able to stop in time, and crashed into the back of the Toyota Estima.

Yew and his two Malaysian accomplices fled Singapore at about 11.10pm that night; they had entered Singapore earlier on the same day for sole purpose of causing an accident.

A claim for repair costs of $54,707 for the Toyota Estima was submitted, but this was lowered to $27,800 after further inspections.

For abetment to cheat, Tew could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

For abetment to drive recklessly, he could have been jailed up to two years and fined.

For abetting to give false information to a public servant, he could have been jailed for up to a year and fined.

Four accomplices have been prosecuted for their respective roles in the insurance scam. Three accomplices remain at large.