SINGAPORE - In yet another case of settling scores with loads of coin, a customer left $19,000 of coins at a car dealer's showroom on Tuesday.
Mr Lester Ong Boon Lin, said to be the son of a famous nasi lemak franchise owner, had been ordered by the court a few months ago to pay Exotic Motors the amount, and he did so - in coins which reeked of fish, said a report by Chinese paper Shin Min Daily on Wednesday.
Exotic Motor's owner Sylvester Tang told the paper: "His lawyer told us that he would come to return the money, and even do it in cash." After a shop staff member had signed the receipt, one of Mr Ong's workers used a trolley to deliver a styrofoam box containing the coins. Surveillance cameras at the shop showed the coins being poured out on to the carpeted floor and the worker leaving promptly with the box and trolley.
Mr Tang, known by many as Mr S. T. Tang, 44, said his shop has had a foul smell since Tuesday afternoon and customers have been staying away from his store because of that. The coins were later placed in plastic bags and put in his car boot. He said then that the coins would be returned to Mr Ong's lawyer.
Mr Ong, 34, told Shin Min he paid in coins to express his strong dissatisfaction with the court's judgment and the car dealer's actions. He also said it was not illegal to pay the amount in coins. But according to the Currency Act, coins in denominations of less than 50 cents cannot be used for payments of more than $2. Mr Tang said most of the coins left at the shop were 20-cent coins.
Mr Ong had owed Exotic Motors more than $11,000, after it helped to pay for his Aston Martin car's road tax and insurance. He was also ordered to pay another $8,000 for lawyer's fees.
Last year, Mr Ong was also ordered by the court to pay Marina Bay Sands more than $240,000 in the first casino debt collection case here.
Last week, mobile phone store Mobile Air in Sim Lim Square was in the news after it tried to give a customer a refund of more than $1,000 in coins.