Police take loan shark runner who allegedly set door of HDB flat on fire back to scene of crime

Lee Ti Fong, 26, was charged in court with loan shark harassment under the Moneylenders Act and unlawful possession of scheduled weapons under the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act on May 25, 2018.
Lee Ti Fong, 26, was charged in court with loan shark harassment under the Moneylenders Act and unlawful possession of scheduled weapons under the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act on May 25, 2018. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - A loan shark runner who allegedly set a Housing Board flat on fire, and was in possession of several scheduled weapons including flick knives and a stun device, was brought back to the scene by police on Friday (May 25).

Lee Ti Fong, 26, was charged in court on Thursday with loan shark harassment under the Moneylenders Act and unlawful possession of scheduled weapons under the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act.

Dressed in a red polo T-shirt and shorts, Lee was in wrist and ankle restraints while being escorted by three police officers.

He arrived at the Sengkang West Way flat at 3.05pm to reenact the events of May 22.

At about 5.15am that day, police were alerted to an incident where the main door of a residential unit had been set on fire.

Speaking to The Straits Times, the unit's resident, a 54-year-old maintenance technician who declined to be named, said: "My wife woke me up after she detected a burning smell. I went out and realised the mat and door of my home was on fire. I then called the police and took water to put out the fire."

Police established that Lee was the alleged culprit and arrested him nine hours after the report was made.

 

During the arrest, he was found to be in possession of several scheduled weapons including flick knives, knuckle dusters, one parang, one stun device and an extendable baton.

Under the Moneylenders Act (Revised Edition 2010), first-time offenders found guilty of loan shark harassment can be fined up to $50,000, jailed for up to five years and caned at least six times.

Anyone convicted under the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act for the possession of scheduled weapons can be jailed for up to five years, with at least six strokes of the cane.

Police figures for 2017 show that there was about a 12 per cent increase in unlicensed moneylending-related harassment cases, from 3,388 in 2016 to 3,806 cases in 2017.