Law catches up with criminal on the run

Law catches up with criminal on the run

A career criminal who had been on the run for five years was so incensed at being called up for questioning that he flung a chair and table at the officer questioning him.

Loh Chien Wei was yesterday sentenced to 12 months and one week in jail, and ordered to be given six strokes of the cane, for offences ranging from falsifying accounts and vandalism to bribery.

The prosecutor said that Loh, 37, who pleaded guilty to 11 of 24 charges, was actively involved in profiting through criminal enterprises. "His offences also involved the concealment of criminal activities through the giving of bribes to police officers," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Jeremy Yeo Shenglong.

Loh even discussed with his partners in crime how to deceive investigators, in an effort to cover up his illegal activities. He was arrested on June 19 last year, more than five years after he skipped bail while being investigated for corruption.

In 2006, Loh got to know Tan Chee Kwong, a staff sergeant from Bedok Police Division.

After several outings, he asked the policeman to inform him of any police raids to be conducted in Geylang as he was selling cough syrup illegally in that area.

Twice, the policeman called Loh and on another occasion, provided relevant information to Loh who had asked whether someone he had beaten up had made a police complaint against him.

On May 14, 2007, Loh treated Tan to a night of drinks and entertainment at a nightclub in Cairnhill Road and footed the $482 bill. Tan, 39, has since been jailed for three months for corruption.

Loh was also the financier behind a moneylending business called IMS Credit in 2007.

The business became illegal when the conspirators decided to charge borrowers 10 per cent interest a month instead of the maximum 18 per cent a year. To disguise the higher interest charged, the promissory note issued to the borrowers was falsified to state inflated loan amounts.

Worried they might get into trouble over the illegal business, Loh even proposed planning what to say if quizzed by investigators. The group agreed to lie that one of them was the sole investor and operator of the business, while the others were not involved.

After Loh was finally caught, and while being interviewed by principal special investigator Bay Chun How at the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on July 17, 2007, he threatened to use force against all anti-graft officers involved in his probe, as well as their families. He also threatened to burn the CPIB building and deface it with paint.

Shortly afterwards, he threw a chair at Mr Bay who was hurt when he used his arm to deflect it. Loh then lifted the table and tried to swing it at Mr Bay who defended himself by kicking the table. Loh then lost his grip and the table fell and broke into pieces.

And in June 19 last year, Loh was being interviewed at the CPIB when he kicked the table, causing its legs to bend. The table cost $700 to repair.

He had also driven with no licence - twice in 2007 and once in 2012. In the March 2012 incident, he was driving his father's car without his consent and was involved in a crash. He left the scene and did not report the accident within 24 hours. He was banned from driving for a year.

Loh, represented by Mr S.S. Dhillon, has past convictions for traffic violations, possession of obscene films and causing hurt.

This article was published on May 9 in The Straits Times.

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