Accused was $60,000 in debt despite bank repossessing flat and car
Flat sold, car repossessed, bank asks for $87,000
During his time on the witness stand, suspended police officer Iskandar Rahmat said that his financial troubles started shortly after his marriage broke down in 2005.
He said he had been married in 2004 but did not want to go into details.
He told the court yesterday that in 2012, as a senior staff sergeant who was also an investigation officer, he was earning a gross salary about $4,000 a month.
He took home about $3,200.
By the time of the divorce a year later, he had spent $360,000 on a flat in Tampines, $108,000 for a car and some $20,000 on renovation.
Of this, he had taken out a $290,000 loan from OCBC Bank to pay for the flat.
He was also committed to a $1,000-a-month repayment plan for the car.
Meanwhile, his renovation loan was being serviced by his father, whom Iskandar said had borrowed the cash intended for the renovation.
But some of the renovation loan's payment lapsed and he fell back on making payments for both the flat and the car.
The car was repossessed in 2006 but despite it being auctioned off, the bank told Iskandar that there was a shortfall. He had to pay $500 a month for the next two years.
After the mandatory five-year minimum occupancy period, Iskandar's flat was seized by the bank and sold for $450,000.
He thought that would net him a profit.
Yet he was told that he still owed some $87,000 to the bank, which he claimed could not give him a breakdown of the outstanding amount.
This was further brought down to $60,000.
At the end of 2012, Iskandar was served a notice at work to attend bankruptcy hearings.
'I felt even more desperate... I will be sacked'
I was sad that at the end of the month, I will be sacked. And in one week, I will be bankrupt. After that, I don't know what I can work as.
- Suspended police officer Iskandar Rahmat
The notice to attend a bankruptcy hearing was served to Iskandar Rahmat at his workplace and received by his superior.
The senior officer told Iskandar that he would raise the matter to the management of Bedok Police Division, where Iskandar was an investigation officer.
As a result of his financial embarrassment, Iskandar was told he would not be allowed to bear arms and was transferred to administrative duties pending internal investigations against him.
"I was very sad and disappointed that the management didn't believe what I was trying to say... This amount didn't even come from me gambling. I didn't engage in vices and still I'm liable for all this," he said.
This resulted in a hearing before the police disciplinary board, where Iskandar was told that should he be found guilty of contravening police regulations, he could be dismissed.
"I felt quite demoralised that I'm not going to be able to have such an income any more.
"After school, I didn't work anywhere else, didn't know what else to work as this was the only job I had for more than 10 years," Iskandar said.
After finishing his O levels at Victoria School, Iskandar spent a year at Singapore Polytechnic in an electrical engineering course before dropping out and signing up with the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
He was eventually sponsored by the SPF and completed a diploma in management and police studies at Temasek Polytechnic in 2012.
He attended a bankruptcy hearing on July 4, 2013, a day after he offered to pay OCBC Bank a lump sum of $50,000 despite not having the money to do so.
"I felt that was an amount that would make them take notice and delay the bankruptcy," Iskandar told the court.
After the hearing, he was given a week to cough up the money.
"I was still desperate, (in fact) I felt even more desperate. I was sad that at the end of the month, I will be sacked. And in one week, I will be bankrupt.
"After that, I don't know what I can work as," Iskandar said, his voice barely above a whisper, his eyes looking down.