A CAPTAIN with the Singapore Armed Forces, who moonlighted as a runner for an illegal moneylender, was caught by a debtor whose house he vandalised last October.
Kheng Kok Keong, 34, pleaded guilty in a district court on Monday to four charges of harassment. Seventeen other charges will be taken into consideration by the judge when passing sentence on Thursday.
A district court heard that from June last year, he had scribbled 'O$P$' - shorthand for 'Owe money, pay money' - on walls, splashed paint on flats or used super glue to seal up keyholes to prevent the occupants from unlocking doors or gates, 21 times.
Investigations revealed that Kheng had an outstanding loan with an illegal moneylender known only as Ah Seng, and agreed to harass other debtors in return of $2,000 to be deducted from his debt every month.
His lawyer G. Dinagaran said that his client had racked up losses after visiting the Resorts World casino and was forced to borrow from a loanshark. It was the incessant harassment by Ah Seng's runners that forced Kheng to agree to be a runner too, the lawyer explained.
Kheng, who was last serving as a logistics officer and drawing a monthly salary of $5,000, will also lose his career of 14 years with this conviction, Mr Dinagaran added.
From Straits Times, "Army captain pleads guilty to being a loanshark runner".
Update on 18/02: the verdict is out--he was slapped with a 2-year jail term & caning 12 times.
WHEN army captain Kheng Kok Keong went to the casino at Resorts World Sentosa last year, that first visit got him hooked and he returned again and again.
In the next few months, he went on to lose a small fortune exceeding 'five figures' and, later, his family when his wife left with their two children.
On Thursday, he also lost his freedom.
A judge at the Subordinate Court jailed him for two years and ordered him to be caned 12 times for working as a loan-shark runner to clear his own debts.
Kheng, 34, had pleaded guilty on Monday to four charges of harassment. Seventeen other charges were taken into consideration by the judge in sentencing.
Speaking to The Straits Times on Thursday before court proceedings, Kheng said: 'I went to the casino to check out the place out of curiosity but things started (to get out of control) from there and I just couldn't stop.'
From Straits Times, "Ex-captain gets jail, cane for loan-shark acts".