SINGAPORE - Four men were arrested after a scuffle in Pasir Panjang on Friday evening (Jan 4).
The police were alerted at 7.02pm to a case of affray at 24 Wholesale Centre. Four men, understood to be of ages 23, 29, 58 and 59, were arrested in relation to the case.
The incident occurred when two debt collectors from Majestic Debt Recovery turned up at the stall to collect a debt of $6,800, reported Shin Min Daily News.
The owner of the debt collecting company Makko Poh, 37, told the Chinese-language newspaper that he had sent two of his employees to the wholesale centre to chase the owner of a vegetable and fruit stall for money that had been owed for at least four months.
He said that after the staff identified themselves and their reason for being there, the stall owner became increasingly agitated. He then began to hit one of the debt collectors and called his employees to join in.
The other debt collector was standing at the side and shouting at them to stop, Mr Poh told The Straits Times in a mix of English and Mandarin.
Shin Min reported that according to videos that Majestic Debt Recovery showed them, there were more than 10 people surrounding one of the debt collectors when some of them suddenly began to throw punches. The debt collector was hit and fell on the floor.
"He tried to defend himself by blocking and pushing them away," added Mr Poh.
Another video showed a staff member from the vegetable and fruit stall using a fire extinguisher to hit one of the debt collectors, breaking his glasses.
Mr Poh said that he will be meeting his lawyer on Monday.
"Aggressive debtors we have met before, but never have we met people who owe money and still beat up those who are collecting the money from them," he said.
The Straits Times understands that one of the men arrested was a 29-year-old debt collector, who was taken to the National University Hospital with minor injuries. The other three arrested were the owner and his workers from the vegetable and fruit stall.
The owner was released on bail on Saturday morning, an employee of the stall told Shin Min.
Police are investigating the incident.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.