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SG Agent jailed, fined for unlicensed moneylending

Property Here - Thursday, June 06, 2013

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By Shabnam Muzammil:

Lee Pit Chin, director of a real estate company, was sentenced to three months in jail and fined S$160,000 for unlicensed moneylending offences.

He was fined an additional S$314,000 for providing unsecured loans to borrowers and submitting false returns to the Registrar of Moneylenders while being a licensee of James Lee Credit. This is the highest penalty imposed on an errant licensed moneylender since 2011.

Lee also pleaded guilty to two counts of operating a moneylending business even without a licence. Under his instruction, his staff Yan Hwee Onn disbursed loans of S$15,000 and S$28,500 to two borrowers and charged them a monthly interest rate of 10 percent.

Moreover, Lee admitted to 30 other offences of violating the Moneylenders Rules and the Moneylenders Act brought by the Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office.

The Estate Agents Act prohibits estate agents and salespersons from introducing, referring or recommending the services of any moneylender to their clients. They are also prohibited from receiving commissions, rewards, fees, payments or any benefits from any moneylender for any moneylending transaction.

“CEA works closely with the Police to clamp down on illegal activities that may involve the estate agents/salespersons and illegal moneylenders. This case was uncovered through the close co-operation between CEA and CID,” said Purnima Shantilal, Director (Licensing & Investigation) of CEA.

“Estate agents and salespersons should not be involved in moneylending activities. When feedback, complaint or information is received from the public and other sources, CEA will not spare any effort in investigating such offence and will not hesitate to prosecute any salesperson involved in Court.”




Shabnam Muzammil, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email shabnam@allproperty.com.sg