Loan shark harassment: Accused taken to crime scene

Raslindawati Abdul Rashid (centre) and Joanna Michell Tan Jiamei with police officers at the crime scene at Block 271B in Sengkang Central yesterday. The two women are suspected of setting fire to the entrance of a flat in the block.
Raslindawati Abdul Rashid (centre) and Joanna Michell Tan Jiamei with police officers at the crime scene at Block 271B in Sengkang Central yesterday. The two women are suspected of setting fire to the entrance of a flat in the block.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Two women who allegedly set fire to a Housing Board flat in a loan shark harassment case were taken to the crime scene by the police yesterday afternoon.

Raslindawati Abdul Rashid, 35, and Joanna Michell Tan Jiamei, 28, were seen arriving at Block 271B in Sengkang Central with hand and leg restraints, accompanied by police officers.

They were first taken to the sixth floor where they had allegedly checked out the layout on Jan 4, the day that the fire took place.

It is believed that Raslindawati and Tan walked up to the 12th floor that day where their target resides.

When they arrived at the unit, Raslindawati was believed to have locked up the gate and poured kerosene at the entrance, while Tan was in charge of filming the process.

After allegedly setting fire to the unit, they were said to have walked down the stairs to the eighth floor before taking the lift to the ground level.

In a statement last Friday, police said they were alerted to a case of loan shark harassment at the unit at 5.48am on Jan 4.

Using images from police cameras in their investigations, the police established the identities of the suspected perpetrators.

Tan was arrested in Kampong Java, followed by Raslindawati in Champions Way. Both women had been charged in court last Saturday under the Moneylenders Act.

First-time offenders convicted of loan shark harassment will be fined between $5,000 and $50,000. They will also be jailed for up to five years and receive up to six strokes of the cane.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2018, with the headline 'Loan shark harassment: Accused taken to crime scene'. Print Edition | Subscribe