Tampines resident files police report after loan shark threatens to burn her flat over previous owner's debts

A Tampines resident received a video of a flat being set on fire by a loan shark, who threatened to do the same to her unit over debts owed to him by the previous owner.
A Tampines resident received a video of a flat being set on fire by a loan shark, who threatened to do the same to her unit over debts owed to him by the previous owner. PHOTOS: STOMP

SINGAPORE - A police report has been lodged by a Tampines resident after a loan shark threatened to set her home on fire over the money owed to him by the flat's previous owner.

The resident, who wanted to be known only as Ms Ho, told The Straits Times on Sunday (May 7) that she had received a letter from the loan shark on Thursday.

The letter read: "Final warning! Owe money pay money!! Better call me before anything happens!"

When she attempted to call the loan shark to explain that she was the flat's new owner, he was hostile and allegedly said he recognised only the address and not the person.

"He asked me to pay $1,000 to 'close the case' but I refused," said the 30-year-old who works as a bank administrative officer.

"He also sent me a video of him burning another HDB flat and threatened to do the same to mine."

The video was first shared on citizen journalism website Stomp.

"I decided to file a report with the police as I was worried for my own safety and my husband's, as well as for my neighbours," she added.

According to Ms Ho, she bought the resale flat at Tampines Avenue 9 in May last year and moved in in September.

The trouble began in March this year, when representatives from licensed moneylending firms started paying her visits, which stopped when she made a police report and pasted it on her door.

That same month, she also received a letter from a loan shark syndicate requesting for payment. She resolved it by calling them to explain that she was not the debtor they were looking for.

This time, the threat of having her flat set on fire prompted Ms Ho to seek help from her Member of Parliament Baey Yam Keng, who flagged the matter to the police.

"The police told me they will install surveillance cameras and that they will step up patrols in my area," she said.

She also took to Facebook on Saturday, where she identified the previous owner of her flat and criticised him for using her address to borrow money from credit companies and loan sharks.

In response to queries from ST, police confirmed that a report had been lodged and that investigations are ongoing.