Debt collectors behind commotion at Jalan Besar eatery among 13 to be charged for intentional harassment

The Straits Times understands that the suspects had threatened debtors verbally and hurled vulgarities at them as well as causing commotions.
The Straits Times understands that the suspects had threatened debtors verbally and hurled vulgarities at them as well as causing commotions. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - Thirteen people will be charged for various offences while allegedly carrying out their roles as debt collectors, police said.

The 12 men and a woman are aged between 22 and 49, and the offences include intentional harassment and unlawful assembly, police said in a statement on Sunday (July 8).

The Straits Times understands that the suspects had threatened debtors verbally and hurled vulgarities at them as well as causing commotions.

The suspects are believed to be working for at least two debt collection companies here.

ST understands that one of the harassment cases occurred on July 15 last year at a Jalan Besar restaurant.

ST reported that a group of at least five collectors were spotted outside Quan Xiang Yuan Seafood Restaurant at 252 Jalan Besar that night.

They had put up a large signboard saying: "Please do not be alarmed. Legal debt collection in progress."

The sign shows the company name - DZ Global Intl.

 

The suspects had created a scene at the restaurant, causing disturbance to diners nearby, and had even stopped vehicles on the road, according to citizen journalism website Stomp.

Photos sent to Stomp also show police officers arriving at the location.

If convicted of intentional harassment, they could face jail terms of up to six months, fines of up to $5,000, or both.

And if found guilty of being in an unlawful assembly, they could be fined or jailed up to two years, or both.

In the statement, the police said that debt collectors who use egregious and aggressive tactics that flout the law will be taken to task accordingly.

Correction note: An earlier version of the story said that 13 men will be charged for the offences. Police later clarified that the group comprises 12 men and a woman.