Teen in loan shark case put in a spot

Teen in loan shark case put in a spot

A CHANCE meeting between two former schoolmates ended with one teenager arm-twisting the other into acting as a lookout while he splashed paint on flats in loan shark-related offences.

Yesterday, Josiah Chua Weijie, 16, pleaded guilty to helping Dave Kek Jun Qi, 18, commit harassment on behalf of a loan shark, known only as "KC", in the early hours of Feb 14.

He will be sentenced on Aug 28.

While heading home on the evening of Feb 13, Josiah bumped into Dave, who shared his plans to target residents in Pasir Ris later that night.

When Josiah turned down a request to accompany him, Dave grabbed his shirt and threatened to splash paint on his home.

Josiah relented and, after 2am, the duo and a 13-year-old female accomplice went to a block of flats in Pasir Ris Drive 1.

Josiah and the girl kept a lookout as Dave splashed red paint outside a Housing Board flat on the second floor and vandalised the walls of the nearby staircase landing.

Josiah, an ITE student, also admitted to a similar offence committed the next day, as well as to an unrelated count of theft in dwelling on July 2 last year.

Both of these will be taken into consideration when he is sentenced. The court has called for a report on his suitability for probation.

Dave's case is still pending. It is understood the girl was let off with a stern warning, to avoid disrupting a stint she is serving in a children's home for a previous offence.

She cannot be named as she is under the age of 16.

Individuals committing harassment under the Moneylenders Act for the first time face up to five years in jail and a fine of between $5,000 and $50,000.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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