SingaporeJail for poultry salesman who pocketed $193,000 of customers' cash to pay...

Jail for poultry salesman who pocketed $193,000 of customers’ cash to pay off brother’s debts

A man started to gamble due to the debts left by his brother who died of a serious illness. He was unable to withstand the harassment by loan sharks and hoped to pay off the debts by gambling, but he became addicted to the vice two years ago.

The defendant, Tan Choon Long, 46, was originally a sales representative of the poultry product supplier Lee Say Poultry Industrial, and was responsible for taking orders from customers and collecting payments.

In 2021, the defendant’s brother died of a serious illness, leaving behind a large amount of debt. Because the brother used the defendant’s address and personal information when borrowing money, the defendant was constantly harassed by loan sharks after his brother’s death. In order to pay off his debts, the defendant started to gamble on football matches and on the Internet, but unexpectedly became addicted to gambling.

In May last year, the defendant did not go to work suddenly. After his supervisor could not contact him, he checked the account and found that the amount entered into the account was incorrect. Some customers said they received payment receipts, but the receipts were not recorded in the company’s accounts, and the defendant’s crime of embezzling customers’ payments was discovered.

The accused originally fled to Vietnam, but returned home in June last year and was subsequently arrested.

His lawyer asked for 20 to 22 months’ jail for the defendant, saying that he is deeply remorseful and acted out of character.

He now works as a private-hire driver with Gojek, earning about S$1,600 to S$1,800 a month. He is the main breadwinner of his family, supporting his 20-year-old daughter’s studies, and is in the midst of filing for bankruptcy as he cannot repay his debts.

The court on 13 February, sentenced him to two years in prison for one count of embezzlement of public funds.

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