Man pays $19,000 in coins: What you need to know about making large payments in coins

In yet another case of paying large sums in coins, a customer left $19,000 of coins in a car dealer's showroom on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
In yet another case of paying large sums in coins, a customer left $19,000 of coins in a car dealer's showroom on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - In yet another case of paying large sums in coins, a customer left $19,000 of coins in a car dealer's showroom on Tuesday.

Mr Lester Ong Boon Lin, said to be the son of a famous nasi lemak franchise owner, had been ordered by the court a few months ago to pay Exotic Motors the amount.

He did so - in coins estimated to weigh at least 100kg and reeking of fish, reported the Chinese evening papers on Wednesday.

Mr Ong, 34, had owed Exotic Motors more than $11,000. He was ordered to pay the debt and another $8,000 for lawyer's fees.

He told Shin Min Daily News he paid in coins to express his strong dissatisfaction with the court's judgment and the car dealer's actions. He said it was not illegal to pay the amount in coins.

The New Paper reported on Thursday that many of the coins were of denominations smaller than $1. Therefore, Mr Ong's payment may have breached the Monetary Authority of Singapore's Currency Act.

Here's what the Act says about payments in coins:

1) Any sum can be paid in coins with a denomination exceeding 50 cents; in other words, $1 coins.

2) 50-cent coins can be used for the payment of a sum not more than $10.

3) Coins of a denomination lower than 50 cents, in other words, 20 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents and 1 cent, can be used for the payment of a sum not more than $2.