Singapore

Ah Long San, Singapore's most notorious loan shark, dead at 62

This article is more than 12 months old

He is believed to have suffered a heart attack alone in his car

Ah Long San, arguably Singapore's most notorious loan shark who once cultivated a network of police officers to help in his multi-million-dollar illegal moneylending syndicate, died yesterday morning.

The Straits Times understands that Mr Chua Tiong Tiong, 62, suffered a suspected heart attack when he was alone in his car.

It was parked along the roadside in Geylang, where he had operated his loansharking business in the 1990s. He was taken unconscious to Tan Tock Seng Hospital around 9am.

When contacted, the police said a man, who was found motionless at the junction of Lorong 31 Geylang and Sims Avenue, was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after.

The case has been classified as unnatural death and police investigations are ongoing.

At the wake, the family declined to comment when approached by ST last night.

A report by The New Paper in 2001 said Mr Chua had six children.

An Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority check showed that Mr Chua had been the owner of a karaoke lounge since October 2012.

Better known by his nickname, which means "Mr Loan Shark", Ah Long San ran a multi-million-dollar syndicate that spread far and wide, and included his own brother Chua Tiong Chye, some 40 runners and more than 1,000 borrowers.

The syndicate raked in about $500,000 a month, and was believed to be one of the biggest operations at that time.

Ah Long San was able to evade arrest and detection for over a decade through the network of officers in the police force he depended on for information and tip-offs.

CULTIVATE

He had reportedly spent years cultivating police officers, entertaining them at nightclubs, paying for their holidays and even sponsoring the studies of an officer overseas, in exchange for a heads-up when police conducted raids.

Ah Long San also owned a number of legitimate businesses, such as karaoke pubs.

A probe into the loan shark began in 1995 and he was sentenced to 18 months' jail in 1999 for bribing a police officer.

However, he went on the run while released on $550,000 bail pending his appeal and failed to show up in court.

He surrendered to the authorities in 2001 and was sentenced to 10 years' jail for bribing police officers with cash and entertainment at a nightclub between October 1997 and December 1998.

Ten police officers, among them an assistant superintendent and three inspectors, were also jailed as a result of the corruption scandal.

Death