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1456 days ago
Two women jailed for money lending at RWS
(Today on TV, many foreign workers now sending less money to their home-family, because they spend here)
Two Malaysian women were sentenced on Monday for carrying out loansharking activities at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).
From January to August, the duo made almost daily trips from Johor Bahru to RWS to gamble and lend money, reported Channel NewsAsia.
Forty-nine-year-old Lee Chai Thing, unemployed, was jailed six months and fined S$120,000 for being an unlicensed moneylender.
Her runner, 24-year-old Ban Pei Chin, a coffeeshop helper, was jailed six weeks and fined S$60,000.
Lee, known to debtors as “933”, gave out loans of between S$500 and S$10,000. She charged a daily interest rate of 3 per cent to 4 per cent until the principal loan was repaid in one payment.
The debtors would receive loans in the form of cash or cash chips from either Lee or Ban. According to The Straits Times, the repayments could also be made in the same way.
In July, Lee also opened a VIP deposit account with RWS to facilitate her illegal business. By the time both women were arrested on 3 August, S$56,000 was left in the account.
The court heard that Ban received free meals, a handbag and about S$20 on various occasions for her services.
According to District Judge John Ng, Lee was not a “usual loanshark” as the offence was non-syndicated and involved a “minimal” level of sophistication.
He also noted that Ban's gains in assisting the business were rather insubstantial.
The duo’s lawyer Eric Tin pointed out that the offences were of a small and limited scale, and took place over a relatively short period.
He also noted that neither of the two women had actively solicited or promoted the moneylending business within or outside the casino. Save for one debtor, the counsel said, the others were friends who had come from Malaysia to gamble here.
However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Edward Ti said Lee's offences were committed at a casino, where borrowers are very vulnerable. He added that Lee had fostered a culture of gambling beyond one's means.
Each woman could have been fined up to S$300,000 and jailed for up to four years per charge.
When contacted by local media, a spokesman for RWS said it would continue to work closely with the authorities to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for its guests.
Two M’sian women have been convicted of carrying out unlicensed money lending activities at RWS. (Yahoo! file photo)