4 men held after scuffle at wholesale centre

Four men were arrested after a scuffle at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre on Friday evening.

The police were alerted to a case of affray just after 7pm at 24 Wholesale Centre. Four men, understood to be aged 23, 29, 58, and 59, were arrested in relation to the case.

The incident occurred when two debt collectors from Majestic Debt Recovery turned up at a stall to collect a debt of $6,800, reported Shin Min Daily News.

The owner of the debt collecting company, Mr Makko Poh, 37, told the Chinese-language newspaper that he had sent two of his employees to the wholesale centre to ask the owner of a vegetable and fruit stall for money that had been owed for at least four months.

He said that after his staff identified themselves and stated their reason for being there, the stall owner became increasingly agitated. He then began to hit one of the debt collectors and called his employees to join in.

The other debt collector was standing at the side and shouting at them to stop, Mr Poh told The Sunday Times.

Shin Min reported that according to videos that Majestic Debt Recovery showed it, there were more than 10 people surrounding one of the debt collectors when some of them suddenly began to throw punches. The debt collector was struck and fell to the floor.

"He tried to defend himself by blocking and pushing them away," Mr Poh said.

Another video showed a staff member from the vegetable and fruit stall using a fire extinguisher to hit one of the debt collectors, breaking his spectacles.

Mr Poh said he will be meeting his lawyer tomorrow.

"Aggressive debtors we have met before, but never have we met people who owe money and still beat up those who are collecting the money from them," he said.

The Sunday Times understands that one of the men arrested was a 29-year-old debt collector, who was taken to the National University Hospital with minor injuries.

The other three arrested were the stall owner and his workers.

The owner was released on bail yesterday morning, an employee of the stall told Shin Min.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 06, 2019, with the headline '4 men held after scuffle at wholesale centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe