Desperate times call for desperate measures. With enhanced movement restrictions and the streets teeming with enforcement officers, one loan shark still found a way to harass his victims remotely — food delivery.
The loan shark sent over $800 worth of food to an innocent family's home in Yishun on April 13, leaving the hapless food outlets stuck with the bill, Lianhe Wanbao reported.
He also threatened the family over the phone, said one of the victims who is a 49-year-old man.
According to the man, who remains unnamed, the loan shark was looking for his older brother who reportedly owed him money. However, his brother moved away six or seven years ago and denies ever borrowing money from loan sharks.
The first delivery, an order from McDonald's, arrived at his home at about 2pm that day, the man recounted.
He had initially thought that the delivery man had gotten the wrong address, but was told that the food was meant to be delivered to his unit.
The delivery man then called the loan shark to confirm the order details before passing the phone to the man and his wife.
When they told the loan shark that his brother had moved away, he flew into a rage and told them "not to act" before hanging up.
After the delivery man left, he made a police report online.
But that wasn't all.
Two more batches of food from two different Chinese restaurants arrived at his home at about 4pm and 6pm that day.
The bill for each restaurant came up to $402 and $288 respectively, he said.
Speaking to the couple via the delivery men's phones, the loan shark warned them that the food was "just an appetiser" and promised to double down on the harassment in the future.
In response to AsiaOne's queries, the police confirmed that a report was lodged and said investigations are ongoing.
Speaking to the Chinese evening daily, the 34-year-old owner of one of the restaurants said that he had started offering food delivery services in February due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The restaurant accepts payment via PayNow or cash on delivery and had never run into this issue, he added.
Despite feeling "helpless" as his business was already been going through a rough patch, he explained that he decided to absorb the $288 bill out of sympathy for the family and distribute the food among his staff.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen 93 per cent of restaurants suffering a dip in revenue. 80 per cent have even reduced staff to cut costs, according to a survey by Chope.
Food delivery men have also complained of falling earnings due to the influx of people turning to food delivery to put food on the table.