Debt collector jailed after repeatedly harassing company director
He gets five weeks' jail for harassing company director and pushing an auxiliary police officer
A debt collector repeatedly harassed a company director and even turned up at his office in funeral clothes in his attempts to collect a debt.
Peh Chong Wee, 59, was yesterday jailed for five weeks after pleading guilty to three counts of using threatening behaviour under the Protection from Harassment Act, and a fourth charge of using criminal force on an auxiliary police officer.
Five other charges were taken into consideration.
Peh, the sole proprietor of Guarantee Debts Collection Services, was referred by another debt collector, Koh Yew Gee, to a woman in April last year.
She later hired them to collect a debt on behalf of LM Tech Engineering and Construction and gave them the particulars of Mr Ooi Swee Khoon, a director of PSP Solutions Engineering.
To claw back the debt, Peh harassed Mr Ooi on seven occasions. Court documents did not state how much money was owed, but previous reports mentioned the amount as $170,000.
On May 27 last year, Peh and Koh went to PSP Solutions Engineering's premises in Ang Mo Kio to collect the debt, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tay Jia En told the court.
They shouted as they entered the office. When they realised Mr Ooi was not in, Peh banged on the front desk forcefully.
He lay on the floor when the human resources manager asked them to leave. She called the police, who arrived and told the duo to maintain the peace and settle the matter amicably.
Peh and Koh then left but returned the next day. Peh wore a traditional Chinese funeral outfit and shouted loudly while Koh took a video of him.
They repeated the same stunt the following day.
Two days later on May 31, Peh again showed up in funeral garb and also carried a banner with Mr Ooi's face.
Koh filmed Peh blowing a whistle and shouting while walking along the corridor.
A company employee called the police, but Peh and Koh left before they arrived.
Peh was arrested for harassment later that day and was detained at the Woodlands Division Headquarters' lock-up.
While being moved to another cell the next day, Peh, who was in handcuffs, put up a struggle and pushed an auxiliary police officer against a wall before being restrained.
After he was released on bail, Peh went twice to a Geylang condominium to harass Mr Ooi, who is believed to live there.
He rode a bicycle around the area with incense paper, two large poles each carrying a banner with photos of Mr Ooi and messages demanding the debt be repaid.
On June 21, Peh returned to the PSP Solutions Engineering office with his banners despite a court order issued on June 14 prohibiting him from loitering or entering any place frequented by Mr Ooi.
He was accompanied by a man whom he had paid $200 to film his antics.
The human resources manager took a video of him as he paraded along the corridor.
In mitigation, Peh's lawyer Wee Hong Shern said Peh had tried to be creative after his calls were repeatedly ignored and was turned away when he tried to collect the debt.
"He's never encountered such difficult clients in his life... As a debt collector, his reputation is staked on whether he can get debtors to repay," Mr Wee added.
He said Peh was "thoroughly remorseful" and had written a letter of apology.
Koh also faces harassment charges and his case will be heard later this month.