A former licensed moneylender was fined $17,000 yesterday after he admitted to three offences under the Moneylenders Act.
Peh Teck Tiong, 51 - the sole proprietor of Heedmasters Credit based at Sultan Plaza in Jalan Sultan - pleaded guilty in the State Courts to one count of operating his business at a different place which had not been approved by the Registrar of Moneylenders.
He also admitted to one count of failure to issue receipts for cash payments made by borrowers and one of recklessly furnishing false information to the Registrar.
Nine charges were brought against Peh in December last year by the Registry of Moneylenders, a division of the Insolvency & Public Trustee's Office.
The Office, which comes under the Ministry of Law, oversees the licensing and regulation of moneylenders and pawnbrokers.
The remaining six charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Peh held a moneylending licence from May 6, 2009 to May 5, 2010, but it was not renewed after expiry as he was then under investigation for the offences.
Since 2011, 24 other licensed moneylenders have been convicted and fined for breaches under the same Act. Four were convicted and punished this year. There were 12 cases last year, up from five in 2012 and three in 2011.
Anyone convicted of breaches of the Moneylenders Act and Rules faces a maximum punishment of a $40,000 fine and two years' imprisonment on each charge.
This article was published on April 8 in The Straits Times.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.