Man charged with 3 counts of loan shark harassment by fire

SINGAPORE - A man allegedly turned up at three Housing Board flats over two days, but these were not friendly visits.

Muhammad Nafis Mohd Nazri, who is said to have acted on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender known only as "Boss", is accused of setting fires at their main doors.

On Friday (Oct 1), he was charged in a district court with three counts of loan shark harassment by fire.

Nafis, 21, went to a block of flats in Jurong West Avenue 1 at around 2am on Monday (Sept 27) and allegedly used a marker to deface a wall outside a residential unit. The Singaporean is also accused of setting a fire at its main door.

He allegedly went to another block of flats in Boon Lay Avenue about 45 minutes later to target a second unit.

Nafis is said to have defaced a wall outside the flat and started a fire at its main door.

He is accused of similar acts at a third household in Joo Seng Road, near Upper Aljunied Road, at around 1am on Tuesday.

The police said in an earlier statement that they were alerted to the incidents on Monday and Tuesday. Officers viewed images from closed-circuit television and police cameras.

The Criminal Investigation Department, as well as Jurong and Tanglin police divisions, managed to establish the alleged offender's identity.

Officers arrested Nafis on Wednesday and seized items believed to be controlled drugs.

The statement did not disclose the exact nature of the substances but the police said the Central Narcotics Bureau is investigating the case.

The statement added that the police take a tough stand against those who "deliberately vandalise properties, cause annoyance to the public or disrupt public safety, peace and security".

"Members of the public are advised to stay away from loan sharks and not to work with or assist them in any way."

Members of the public can call the police on 999 or the X-Ah Long hotline on 1800-924-5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in loan shark activities.

Nafis' case has been adjourned to Oct 29.

For each charge, a person convicted of loan shark harassment can be jailed for up to five years, given up to six strokes of the cane and fined up to $50,000.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.