COVID-19: Man charged with violating circuit breaker for illegal loanshark activity

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SINGAPORE — A man was charged on Tuesday (26 May) with breaching circuit breaker measures while conducting illegal moneylending activities.

Chua Jun Yong, 20, who was earlier charged for acting for a loanshark, received an additional charge for leaving his residence at Bedok Reservoir Road without justification - two days after Singapore’s circuit breaker took effect. He is said to have left his residence between midnight and 6am to go to a flat at Holland Close on 9 April.

On that day, Chua allegedly locked the gate of a unit with a bicycle lock and used an indelible marker to scribble “O$P$” along with a name and phone number on the wall of the the seventh floor lift landing at about 1.49am. The incident constitutes a breach of the Moneylenders Act and is the subject of one of the seven charges he was previously handed.

His six other charges relate to driving a car without a license and insurance, and other alleged unlicensed moneylending activities, which occurred a day before the circuit breaker kicked in.

On 6 April, at about 1am, Chua allegedly went to a flat in Tampines Street 86 where he locked a gate with a bicycle lock and used a marker to scribble “O$P$” along with a name and phone number on the wall of the eighth floor lift landing. He is said to have done so on behalf of a loanshark known as “Jasper”.

About two hours later, he supposedly repeated the act at another flat at Hougang Avenue 4. This time he scribbled words with a marker on the second floor corridor.

Chua is also accused of driving without a license and insurance to commit the acts at Tampines. He is expected to plead guilty when he returns to court on 2 June.

Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020, passed by Parliament on 7 April, individuals are not allowed to leave their residences without a reason.

If convicted of contravening the Act, Chua may be jailed up to six months, or fined up to $10,000.

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