Nurse who hired Batam man to harass loan sharks jailed and beaten up

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SINGAPORE: After quitting his job as a nurse at a private hospital and struggling to cope with his self-employment, a man turned to borrowing from loan sharks.

To repay his debts, he agreed to harass other debtors and roped up someone from Batam to help him, sending the Indonesian national to and from the ferry terminal.

He also asked a 14-year-old boy to help splash paint on a debtor’s door.

For his crimes under the Lenders Act, 28-year-old Muhammad Firman Dollah was sentenced to 13 months and two weeks in prison and three strokes with the cane on Wednesday June 30.

He pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting a money lender, ordering the Indonesian national to harass the loan sharks.

Two other similar charges were considered in the sentencing.

Firman’s attorney, Anil Singh Sandhu, told the court his client quit her job as a nurse at Parkway Shenton in 2018.

He believed that he would have more flexibility and that he could spend more time with his two children as a freelance home nurse. But Firman was unable to secure enough assignments and ran into financial difficulties, Mr. Anil said.

He also moved into an apartment with his wife in 2019 and had “a lot of financial constraints”. In February of last year, Firman borrowed money from a loan shark known as Carson.

Carson promised him S $ 8,300 if he helped harass three debtors by splashing paint on their doors and locking the doors.

Firman contacted his co-accused, a man he knew as Yopi, who lived in Batam. He asked Yopi to harass him on his behalf in exchange for a sum of money.

On February 13, 2020, Firman purchased paint and a bicycle lock at a store and drove to the Harbourfront ferry terminal with a borrowed vehicle.

HE WENT TO THE TERMINAL TO MEET HIS CO-ACCUSED

He picked up Yopi, who had arrived on a ferry from Batam to Singapore. Firman then drove to the location provided by Carson and parked the vehicle while Yopi splashed paint on the door and locked the metal door.

The two men headed to two other locations, but Yopi was unable to harass because there were people near the apartments.

That same day, Firman drove Yopi back to the terminal so that he could return to Batam, Indonesia.

The debtor who had splashed paint on her door called the police and Firman was subsequently arrested.

The prosecutor requested at least 15 months in prison and the mandatory minimum sentence of three strokes of the cane for Firman.

Deputy Prosecutor Derek Ee said it was aggravating that Firman instigated a foreigner into Singapore with the aim of harassing loan sharks.

He also considered additional charges, including inciting a minor to harass on behalf of an unlicensed money lender, Ee said.

Defense attorney Mr Anil asked for one year in jail and three strokes with the cane, claiming his client admits he had done wrong.

He cited Firman’s contributions, such as working with the serology team at the National University Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic and carrying out testing operations in migrant worker dormitories.

He is still a self-employed nurse, but he now supplements his income as a private driver and opens a small stall selling frozen chicken. He also donated chicken to the public during Ramadan, Mr. Anil said.

“Firman has no penchant for crime, and he acted out of character during this time,” he added.

The judge allowed Firman to postpone his prison term to next month and start serving it on July 21.

Yopi, whose real name is Manopo Bernad Robert, has not been treated, according to court documents.


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