Jail sentence for member of gambling syndicate who used income to counterfeit CPF home loan contributions

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SINGAPORE: A man who joined an online gambling syndicate and used criminal proceeds to falsify contributions from the Central Provident Fund (CPF) for a home loan was sentenced Wednesday (Jan. 25).

Kiegan Tan Ming Ren, 32, was jailed for 17 months and fined S$60,000, due on February 6.

Tan pleaded guilty in December to five counts under the Remote Gambling Act and the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act. Another eight charges were considered at sentencing.

He told co-defendant Tan Chee Sheng that he was looking for work and accepted a role in the latter’s illegal remote gambling syndicate, collecting 4D and TOTO bets on his behalf.

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Tan was initially given a gambling account by an agent on one of the illegal gambling websites and instructed to find gamblers who would place bets with him, but was later upgraded to a master agent account.

This account had a credit limit of S$5 million and gave Tan greater oversight and control in the syndicate, including coordinating agents under him.

He initially received a commission of 10 percent of all bets he received, and another 5 percent of the winning amount if the bet won.

He then took a position against the bets received, which meant he could share in the winnings and losses instead of just collecting commission.

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Tan also admitted that he was guilty of transferring criminal proceeds.

He wanted to get a home loan from the Housing Board for his flat, but he had to prove that he had a paid job and received a stable income.

To build his credit through illegal contributions to his CPF account, he decided to make cash payments to companies that would falsely declare him an employee and deposit contributions into his CPF account.

Between August 2016 and November 2017, Tan made 11 payments of S$600 each, totaling S$6,600 in total, to a person identified as Lim Poh Kian. Lim was a shareholder in the company BKDL and arranged an online submission of CPF contributions to Tan as an alleged employee of BKDL.

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Between March 2018 and June 2019, Tan made 16 payments of S$1,114 each, for a total of S$17,824, to Chee Seng. Chee Seng then arranged for a Revitalize Trading employee to make CPF contributions to Tan as an alleged employee.

Tan was arrested at Waterway Point in July 2019 as part of an island-wide police operation to arrest 36 people from the illegal gambling syndicate.

The court allowed Tan to begin his jail term on February 6.

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