Singapore — A Singapore Armed Forces Master Sergeant was jailed for five months on Monday for helping in loan shark activities.
The 30-year-old Tock Yong Keng was also fined S$60,000 after admitting he aided the unlicensed moneylending operations in various ways, including opening a bank account in his name to facilitate the activities.
Tock also admitted he roped in Private Ryan Thomas Misson, who was under his charge at Pasir Laba Camp, to help with ATM fund transfers.
The sergeant was charged with a total of five offences, which were committed between May and August of 2013.
The prosecution proceeded on two of the charges.
The court heard that Tock had taken loans totalling some S$20,000 from 40 different illegal moneylenders in order to feed his football betting habit.
When he had difficulty repaying the loans, he was approached by the loan sharks to aid them with electronics fund transfers.
Tock opened up bank accounts in his name or under the 19-year-old Mr. Mission’s name in order to facilitate the transfers.
The prosecution argued that it was an aggravated case because Tock had abused his authority and had gotten help from Mr. Misson.
The prosecutor, Amanda Chong, said in such cases the benchmark is one to three months’ jail for each count.
But defence attorney Ravingderpal Singh pointed out that Tock has helped in the illicit activities because he feared for the safety of his family and wife, who was also pregnant at the time, according to reports.
Mr. Ravingderpal also stated that his client had landed himself in the situation because of his gambling addiction, and was currently seeking counselling to kick his habit.
The court also heard that Tock is unable to pay the fine due to a lack of money, and so in default he will go to jail for another two months.