Illegal Gambling and Fraud: False Debt Collector misleads loan shark
A court in Singapore has sentenced a 34-year-old to 11 days in prison and a fine, among other things, for illegal gambling. The man had confessed to using a prohibited gambling app and cheating a loan shark out of money as a false debt collector.
Illegal online gambling
In court, Muhammad Khairul Ismail pleaded guilty to having gambled online contrary to Singapore law. Overall, he placed bets of around 850 euros.
While online gambling is a punishable offense in Singapore, locals are in principle allowed to play in the major gambling temples. However, in contrast to tourists, for whom entry is free, they have to pay high prices to visit the casino. The government is trying to keep gambling among the population aside from the state lotteries and some selected offers.
In addition, the prosecution had accused Khairul of having turned in 2019 in the hope of a job to a man he had only known by the name “Lucas”. There was no doubt that Lucas was a loan shark.
After a short time he offered him to work as a debt collector. For the equivalent of 75 to 90 euros, Khairul's task was to send “messages” to Lucas' debtors.
Specifically, he should have locked their entrance gates with chains and locks and left a message. Videos of the actions that he had to send his client via the WhatsApp messenger service should serve as evidence. Payment was then made immediately via online transfer.
Debtors turn to the police
The fraud occurred because Khairul carried out the task as requested, but removed the device after receiving payment. Three times, according to the prosecution, he misled his client in this way.
The goings-on of the alleged debt collector was exposed because Lucas had forwarded the videos to the victims to underline his demands for money. Those affected then turned to the authorities, who in turn became aware of Khairul.
The fact that the injured party was not a “typical innocent member of society” did nothing to change the prosecution's demand for punishment. She had declared in her plea:
This does not absolve the defendant of wrongdoing and should not detract from the fact that the defendant has obtained an improper gain through his deception.
Khairul had admitted the use of the gambling app as well as the fraud in one case. He appealed the conviction on two other fraud charges and is currently on bail. Nothing is publicly known about the identity of the loan shark Lucas and his whereabouts.