A cabby, who received $2,000 to allow his taxi to be used in a staged accident, was jailed for six months on Thursday. Loh Siaw Kum, 55, pleaded guilty to conspiring to cheat Prime Car Rental and Taxi Services by lodging a false accident report and deceiving the taxi company into pay $7,100 to H.C. Auto for the repairs to his taxi.
A district court heard that an acquaintance, known only as Ah Lam, had recruited Low for the scam. The cabby was present when an accomplice deliberately drove the taxi into the rear of a car which then collided into another vehicle ahead of it along Lorong Lada Hitam off Mandai Road on Sept 27, 2009 .
Ah Lam then passed the particulars of the "drivers" and the registration numbers of the two cars to Loh and told him to report that the accident happened at 8am on Sept 28 along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5. The cabby was also to say that he had three passengers aboard.
He filed the accident report at the offices of Prime the next day and was directed to send his vehicle for repairs to the H.C. Auto workshop in Sin Ming Industrial Estate. These came to $7,100.
The alleged mastermind of the insurance scam was Bernard Teo Shouyuan. The 31-year-old was planning to file personal injury and damage claims against the insurer of the taxi for the drivers and passengers involved in the "accident".
However, Royal & SunAlliance Insurance found one of the claims suspicious. Police were informed in July 2011 and investigations then uncovered Loh's offence.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kung Yong Jin told the court that seven other people were believed to been involved too.
They have been charged but not dealt with. However, the identity of Ah Lam has not been ascertained, he said.