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3 days’ jail for man who filmed debt collector who donned funeral outfit to harass debtor

SINGAPORE — A 48-year-old unemployed man joined forces with an acquaintance to earn money by working for a legal debt collection business.

3 days’ jail for man who filmed debt collector who donned funeral outfit to harass debtor

Koh Yew Ghee took a video of Peh Chong Wee in a traditional Chinese funeral outfit while Peh carried a banner with the debtor’s face and loan repayment demands.

SINGAPORE — A 48-year-old unemployed man joined forces with an acquaintance to earn money by working for a legal debt collection business.

But Koh Yew Ghee soon found himself on the wrong side of the law. 

The other man, Peh Chong Wee, donned a traditional Chinese funeral outfit to harass a debtor at his workplace.

Koh accompanied him and filmed Peh's actions on one occasion. 

The video, which showed Peh shouting in Hokkien outside the premises, was posted online.

On Thursday (Aug 13), Koh was sentenced to three days’ jail after pleading guilty to two harassment charges. Two other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

Peh, 59, was in January sentenced to five weeks behind bars.

At the time of the duo’s offences mid-last year, Peh was the sole proprietor of Guarantee Debts Collection Service.

Peh and Koh had known each other for seven years after working in the building construction industry.

Peh asked Koh to introduce clients for his debt collection business. They then worked together to collect a debt on behalf of a firm in the engineering and construction industry.

The pair unsuccessfully tried to collect the debt on May 27 last year. 

When the engineering company’s human resources manager heard them yelling along the corridor outside the office premises, she opened the door to allow them to enter.

Peh asked for the company director in Mandarin and Koh helped to translate the request into English. 

When the human resources manager said her boss was not around, Peh banged his hand on the front desk. 

The two men were then told to leave, but they proceeded to lie on the ground.

The human resources manager called the police, who advised them to settle the matter amicably. The pair left the office without being arrested.

But they refused to back down. 

Peh returned to the office dressed in the traditional Chinese funeral outfit on three days — May 28, 29 and 31. Koh, who was with him, filmed Peh on the last occasion.

Besides donning the funeral outfit that day, Peh carried a banner printed with the debtor’s face and loan repayment demands.

Peh’s shouting and whistling attracted a commotion outside the premises. Both men left before the police arrived.

Before sentencing Koh, District Judge Marvin Bay said Koh exhibited threatening behaviour and committed his offences several days apart.

“There is a need to ensure that persons acting at the behest of debt collection agencies be made mindful to always act within the framework allowed by law, and not descend into thuggish conduct and cause public disquiet by their pressure tactics,” said District Judge Bay. 

For using threatening behaviour with an intent to harass, Koh could have been jailed up to six months or fined up to S$5,000, or received both penalties.

Related topics

court crime harassment debt

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