Sergeant roped in a private to help transfer funds for loan sharks

A master sergeant in the armed forces who got a subordinate to help him transfer funds for loan sharks was jailed five months and fined $60,000 on Monday.

Tock Yong Keng, 30, had pleaded guilty to two charges of assisting a loan shark by opening and using a POSBank account, and using a UOB ATM card in the name of co-accused and his subordinate Ryan Thomas Mission, 19. Three other charges for similar offences were taken into consideration by the court when passing sentence.

Police investigations revealed that in April this year, Tock borrowed a total of $20,000 from 40 different loan sharks because of soccer betting losses. Unable to repay, he started doing fund transfers for one of the loan sharks by the name of Elven through a POSBank account he opened on May 14. He received $400 a week and used it to pay the other loan sharks.

As he had to be with his pregnant wife and three-year-old child on weekends, he roped in Private Mission, who was a full-time national serviceman. Tock also got him to open a UOB bank account on May 22 and paid him $50 for each day he assisted in the fund transfers.

Private Mission has not been charged.

The prosecutor said Tock should be punished appropriately for "abusing his position of authority" - which District Judge Lee Poh Choo agreed with.

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