SINGAPORE - A man who committed motor insurance fraud by staging more than 10 road traffic accidents between 2011 and 2013 has been sentenced to just over four years' jail, or 51 months.
Malaysian Tang Jui Peng, 45, fled Singapore on Jan 2, 2013, before Singapore police started investigations into a spate of road traffic accidents which were believed to be staged, the police said in a statement on Thursday (Feb 13).
He was extradited back to Singapore on Sept 10, 2019, with assistance from the Royal Malaysia Police.
Investigations found that Tang was one of the masterminds behind a motor insurance fraud syndicate operating in Singapore.
Among other things, he participated in the staging of accidents, instructed stunt drivers on how to stage accidents, recruited owners to allow their vehicles to be used for the accidents, and got phantom drivers or passengers to submit fraudulent motor insurance claims for property damage and injuries.
Tang was charged in court on Sept 12, 2019, on 53 counts relating to 14 staged accidents and involving claims amounting to $336,276.35, of which $95,217 was paid out.
He was charged with 42 counts of engaging in a conspiracy to cheat, six counts of giving false information to a public servant, and five counts of driving a motor vehicle on a road in a manner which is dangerous to the public.
He was sentenced on Wednesday, and his 51-month jail term takes effect from the start of his remand on Sept 12, 2019.
Two other members of the syndicate who played significant roles in the operations, both male Singaporeans, were also recently convicted.
Ong Kok Hua, 62, the syndicate's principal runner, was sentenced to 50 months' jail over 41 charges relating to staged accidents from 2010 to 2013 on Sept 26, 2019.
He was involved in 16 staged accident accidents and claims amounting to $481,696, of which $162,583 was paid out.
Ong was recruited into the syndicate some time around 2010.
He acted under Tang and the other co-mastermind's instructions, and allowed his particulars to be reported as the drivers of vehicles involved in the staged accidents.
Ong also recruited other people to participate in the scams and obtained vehicles for the staged accidents.
Another syndicate member, Eswaran Rajasevran, 38, was convicted on Monday and sentenced to seven years' jail and three strokes of the cane.
He was found guilty of 14 charges relating to five staged accidents from 2011 and 2012 and claims amounting to $160,039, of which $24,067 was paid out, as well as one charge under Section 31(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Investigations found that Eswaran had assisted the syndicate to source for vehicles and recruited other people to source for vehicles to be used in the staged accidents for submitting fraudulent insurance claims.