A Myanmar worker in Singapore who received just a small portion of a S$3,000 (US$2,242) loan he sought from an illegal moneylender was frequently harassed by the loan shark – who sent arson videos to him in a bid to get him to make further payments.
The worker, who used the alias John, filed a report to the Crime Library Singapore – a public crime awareness and prevention page – after getting fed up with loan sharks, Shin Min Daily News reported.
The victim, an expectant father in his twenties, said he has worked in Singapore for six years. He asked for S$3,000 from the illegal money lender so that his wife, back in Myanmar, could be better prepared for their baby.
The loan shark gave him S$300 (US$224), which he dubbed a “probation” loan. But as the worker couldn’t get the sum he sought, he decided not to accept the cash and returned it within 24 hours.
However, the lender claimed he had violated the contract terms and threatened to burn down his flat if he failed to pay an additional S$200 on top of the “probation” money.
Four days after the victim received a message from the moneylender, asking him to pay another S$500 – along with a video showing a runner splattering a house with paint and setting it on fire.
The video was a well-known and controversial video that showed a man filming himself while setting fire to the entrance of two state-owned HDB flats in Jurong East in 2015.
This provocation prompted the victim to go to police for assistance.