SINGAPORE — A man who was in need of cash decided to call a handwritten number accompanied with the message “need cash call this number HP” on the back of a toilet door.
Muhammad Fazly Laily, 28, called and spoke to someone on the other line but had no idea about the person's identity. He provided a photo copy of his NRIC, his bank account numbers, his credit bureau report, and SingPass login ID and password.
He later realised that he received a $11,400 loan from DBS Bank and decided to keep the money, even though he believed that the money was obtained illegally.
The freelance video technician was jailed for six months on Thursday (28 October) after he pleaded guilty to one count under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act for obtaining the money even though he had reasonable grounds to believe that it was acquired from cheating.
Man's salary did not qualify for loan amount
As a video technician, Fazly earned between $600 and $700 monthly.
At the end of March 2019, Fazly was at a coffee shop near Aljunied MRT. While he was using the coffeeshop toilet, he discovered a handwritten message which read “need cash call this number HP”, together with the handphone number on the back of a toilet door.
He did not know who wrote the message or who the number belonged to, but decided to call the number.
A man picked up the call and Fazly asked if he could obtain any amount of cash as a loan, to which the man said yes.
Fazly asked if the cash loan would be legal or illegal and the place where the man worked, but did not receive any answers. The man replied that if the loan were illegal, there would be no way that Fazly could obtain the loan. Fazly did not bother to check how the man would obtain the loan.
Fazly told the man that he wanted a loan amount of between $5,000 and $10,000.
The man asked for Fazly’s personal details, which Fazly provided via text. The man then replied that Fazly’s application would take one to two weeks.
A few days later, Fazly claimed he lost his phone and decided not to call the man about the loan anymore.
On 11 April 2019, Fazly checked his POSB savings account and found that he received a $11,400 loan from DBS Bank as part of a DBS Cashline loan. He realised this loan amount was higher than the $5,000 to $10,000 that he had asked for in his phone call.
He believed that it was impossible for the bank to have disbursed the amount to him, as he was not eligible due to his low monthly salary.
On 9 May 2019, a DBS fraud officer lodged a police report that that there were over 150 loan applications with DBS Cashline that were submitted, together with false pay slips and income documents.
One of the false applications belonged to Fazly. His sham application was submitted on 8 April, along with false supporting pay slips that stated that Fazly earned $4,660.50 a month from a purported engineering company. The bank was cheated into disbursing the loan amount into Fazly’s account on 11 April 2019.
Between March and May 2019, DBS was scammed into disbursing $1.89 million in total to such fraudulent loan applications.
Fazly did not make any voluntary restitution of the money. Only $301.70 was recovered as forced deduction from his bank account.
As Fazly is currently serving a jail term of six years and two months for drug offences, his fresh jail term will stat after his current jail term is completed.
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