Woman jailed, fined 30k for opening bank account for loan shark

Woman jailed, fined 30k for opening bank account for loan shark

She helped open a bank account for a loan shark and on Friday she paid the price for it. Junaidah Mohd Sidek, 57, was jailed for a month and fined $30,000.

She pleaded guilty to assisting an unlicensed moneylender in his illegal business. A district court heard that in August last year, she was working at a boutique when she came across a name card advertising loans.

As she needed money for the Hari Raya season, she arranged for a $1,000 loan from a loan shark who identified himself as Ah Hai after she called him. Only $800 was transferred into her bank account but she repaid $1,000 in five weekly instalments of $200.

Although she did not ask for another loan, $800 was transferred into her account a few months later. She called Ah Hai. He said the money had been transferred and he could not do anything about it.

Some time later, he demanded that she repay $1,000. She was unable to and was told that the debt would be waived if she opened a new bank account for him to use for his unlicensed moneylending activities. She did so at a UOB branch in Toa Payoh on Jan 7 with $500 that she received from Ah Hai's runner and then handed over the bank book and an ATM card with its personal identification number. The new account was used by the runner to accept debt repayments through fund transfers.

Police found out about the illegal transactions and she was arrested on May 22 this year. She admitted committing the offence and was charged.

She could have been fined up to $300,000 and jailed for up to four years.

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