More than $18,000 raised for 70-year-old man who was allegedly cheated of $400,000

 Mr Tan Soy Kiang, 70, met one of the women who was allegedly cheating him of his earnings on Feb 4, a day after he received his pay packet. PHOTO: TNP
 Mr Tan Soy Kiang, 70, met one of the women who was allegedly cheating him of his earnings on Feb 4, a day after he received his pay packet. PHOTO: TNP
Mr Tan, who cannot stand up straight due to a spinal injury, holds two jobs. He works as a cleaner from 7am to 11.30am, and then as a pump attendant at the Esso station along Toa Payoh Lorong 2 from 4pm to 11.30pm. -- PHOTO: TNP
Mr Tan, who cannot stand up straight due to a spinal injury, holds two jobs. He works as a cleaner from 7am to 11.30am, and then as a pump attendant at the Esso station along Toa Payoh Lorong 2 from 4pm to 11.30pm. -- PHOTO: TNP

SINGAPORE - More than US$14,000 (S$18,935) has been raised online for a 70-year-old man who lost $400,000 to two women over 15 years.

The New Paper on Sunday reported that the two Singaporean women told Mr Tan Soy Kiang, who is single, that the money was for a non-existent debt he owed the government. The women are friends he has known for a long time and trusted. A 65-year-old woman has been arrested, while another 69-year-old woman is assisting the police with investigations.

A man by the name of Dan Chen, who works in an international school, started a campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo on Sunday. His goal was to raise US$5,000 (S$6,763), but by 8.30am on Monday, more than US$14,000 (S$18,935) has been raised for Mr Tan by 442 people. Of the public donations, US$1,000 (S$1,352) was the highest single amount.

The New Paper reported that Mr Tan, who cannot stand up straight due to a spinal injury, holds two jobs. He works as a cleaner from 7am to 11.30am, and then as a pump attendant at the Esso station along Toa Payoh Lorong 2 from 4pm to 11.30pm.

The alleged cheating by the women was uncovered only in 2013 by Mr Tan's niece, Pamela Lim, who returned to Singapore after living in Australia for 15 years. Although Mr Tan was borrowing money from his neighbours and sister, he was not forthcoming with why he was constantly out of money. Ms Lim prodded him and eventually, he told her what happened.

Although Ms Lim managed to confront the women a year ago to get them to confess on video what they were doing, and they promised to stop, they went to look for Mr Tan again after six months. They would wait for him near his workplace after his pay day.

jalmsab@sph.com.sg