Jail, fine for debt recovery firm director for offences including harassment

Jasmine Tan Su Ling pleaded guilty on April 12 to two counts of abetment to cause harassment. She also admitted to being a member of an unlawful assembly and to an unrelated charge of fighting in a public place.
Jasmine Tan Su Ling pleaded guilty on April 12 to two counts of abetment to cause harassment. She also admitted to being a member of an unlawful assembly and to an unrelated charge of fighting in a public place.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - The director of Vantage Debt Recovery might be running a legitimate business but her harassment tactics were "akin to those used by loan shark runners", said District Judge Mathew Joseph on Wednesday (April 17).

He chided Jasmine Tan Su Ling, saying: "You were bold, brazen and totally determined to make an example of (a victim) through unlawful means."

Tan, 28, was sentenced to eight weeks' jail and fined $1,000.

She pleaded guilty on April 12 to two counts of abetment to cause harassment. She also admitted to being a member of an unlawful assembly and to an unrelated charge of fighting in a public place.

On Oct 28, 2016, her company was appointed by one Ms Sarah Tay Geok Chen to recover a purported debt of €24,000 (S$36,800) from a 52-year-old real estate agent.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok said that according to the terms of agreement between Vantage Debt Recovery and Ms Tay, the firm was entitled to a commission of 20 per cent of the amount recovered. It would also receive a non-refundable administrative fee of $800.

Tan decided to harass the man by confronting him at a show-flat where he was working on Dec 12 that year.

 

She got one of her employees, Ivan Chia Kian Boon, 27, to pose as a potential buyer to meet the man there. She also roped in the director of another debt recovery firm, Graceson Ang, 34, and told him she needed more people "as a show of force".

Tan and Chia entered the show-flat at around 2pm while Ang and his group waited outside. She started shouting at the purported debtor and told him to step out to a nearby porch where he encountered the other men.

The APP said: "Jasmine repeatedly shouted at (the man), at times using derogatory terms, vulgarities and religious taunts, while demanding that he repay the debt allegedly owed to Sarah. She challenged him to hit her and told him to call for the police.

"She also threatened that she would tell the police that he had molested her and also that she would repeatedly visit the show-flat to pressure him into paying the sum."

The harassment lasted about 40 minutes and the group left before police arrived at the scene.

On March 23 and March 31, 2017, Tan sent two men to harass a 46-year-old man at his Jurong flat in a bid to recover more than $46,000 in outstanding payments.

The pair harassed members of the household including the man's wife and maid, after being told that he was not home on both occasions. The court heard that the couple's young children were at home on both occasions.

Tan did not cease her actions against him despite receiving a letter from his solicitors.

For being a member of an unlawful assembly, Tan could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.

Separately, Tan also admitted to fighting with her former husband's girlfriend at Ayer Rajah Food Centre on Sept 6 last year.

The cases involving nine other men including Chia and Ang are still pending.