New loan shark tactics: Splashing soya sauce, milk and liquid paper on ATMs

SINGAPORE - Seven men were charged in court on Friday over acts of alleged loanshark harassment, committed on behalf of two unlicensed moneylenders believed to be part of the same syndicate.

Targetting individual debtors, they allegedly splashed different types of liquid on two ATMs and pasted notes bearing their debtors' names and personal details on these machines in the past week.

The first alleged act involved four men acting on behalf of a loan shark known as "Batam", and the throwing of soya sauce. It took place at 3.14 am last Saturday, at an OCBC machine at Block 211, Hougang Street 21. The men are Levin Ho Wei Jie and Wong Jing Heng, both 18, and Koh Jia Hui, 17. A fourth man, Lim Yei Keong, 19, allegedly gave instructions to Ho to commit the act.

Milk and liquid paper were splashed in the second alleged act, which happened at 9.45am on Wednesday, at an ATM machine at Block 18 Marsiling Lane. The three men implicated are Kumararaj Shunmugam and Adrian Aruljothy Ganapathy, both 24, and Andrew Clifton Michael Joseph Juan Diego, 25. They acted on behalf of "Ben".

All seven men have been remanded for investigations. Their cases will next be heard in court on Aug 8.

Individuals committing harassment under the Moneylenders Act for the first time face up to five years' jail and a fine of between $5,000 and $50,000.

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