Former tuition agency owner fined for lying to the police
Former tuition centre owner fined $2,000 after telling police she did not know a suspect, who was one of her employees
The former owner of a private tuition agency lied to the police when asked about her links to a suspect in a scam involving two Chinese students.
Then owner of Pivot Tuition agency, Wong Mee Keow, 39, told an officer she did not know the suspect, one of her workers, Poh Yuan Nie, alias Pony Poh.
Wong, who is now jobless, was fined $2,000 yesterday after pleading guilty to two counts of giving false information to a policeman in August and November 2006.
A third charge of intentionally obstructing the course of justice by deleting Poh's photos from her mobile phone in October 2016 was taken into consideration during sentencing.
Both Wong and Poh are Singaporeans, and defence lawyer Peter Ong Lip Cheng said they are in a relationship.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Vadivalagan Shanmuga said the two students had earned places in a local secondary school without taking the entrance examination. This was discovered as they performed poorly in subsequent exams.
When confronted, the students told teachers their agents, two Chinese nationals, had arranged for their placement.
The name of the school, the students' identities as well as those of the female agents were not revealed in court documents.
"Pony had allegedly promised the said agents that she would get the students placed in the school, without the students having to take the entrance exam," said DPP Vadivalagan.
Police later questioned Wong in August and November 2006 and she denied knowing Poh on both occasions.
Subsequently, investigations came to a standstill as Poh could not be traced. But the case was reopened when she was arrested in connection with another similar scam in 2015 and 2016.
Pleading for a minimal fine, Mr Ong told the court his client was remorseful. He also said that Wong was receiving treatment for depression.
Poh's case is still pending.