A loanshark runner planning to release hundreds of live crickets in a debtor's house was arrested red-handed in September. Investigations revealed that Seah Wee Beng, 41, a cook, had vandalised two flats a month earlier. On Wednesday, a district court sentenced him to 15 months in jail and six strokes of the cane.
He had fallen into the clutches of the two loansharks after he was unable to repay loans he took to feed his soccer gambling habit. The loansharks got him to work for them and offset his debt by $100 for each house he harassed.
In August, he scribbled the name, the address and the identity card number of a debtor on the wall of the lift lobby of a flat in Ang Mo Kio. He then padlocked the metal gate with a bicycle lock and splashed black paint on the door. A few days later, he threw black paint at the door of a flat in Hougang.
His luck ran out the next month. Acting on a tip-off, police officers spotted Seah acting suspiciously on the 11th floor of a block of flats in Jurong West at about 4am on Sept 3 . A black marker pen and the boxes of crickets were seized from him. He confessed to working for two illegal moneylenders and admitted that he was planned to vandalise the wall near the door of a debtor's flat. He planned to release the insects in the flat to annoy the occupants.