Public Prosecutor v Teo Kian Hwee Edwin

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeSamuel Hwa Kuan Chua
Judgment Date18 November 2016
Neutral Citation[2016] SGDC 314
Citation[2016] SGDC 314
Docket NumberDAC 930346-2016 to DAC 930350-2016, Magistrate’s Appeal No 9285-2016/01
Published date23 November 2016
Plaintiff CounselChew Xin Ying
Defendant CounselSankar s/o Kailasa Thevar Saminathan
Hearing Date14 October 2016,25 August 2016,08 November 2016
District Judge Samuel Hwa Kuan Chua: The Charges

On 25 August 2016, Teo Kian Hwee Edwin (“the Accused”), a 27-year-old male Singaporean who was unrepresented by counsel during the Mention, pleaded guilty to the following two charges:

DAC-930346-2016

You, … , are charged that you, sometime in June 2012, in Singapore, did engage in a conspiracy with Sollihin Bin Anhar (“Sollihin”), Rahmat Bin Mohd (“Rahmat”) and Ang Xin Yong Ricky (“Ricky”), to cheat China Taiping Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd (“China Taiping”), and in pursuance of that conspiracy and in order of doing that thing, an act took place on 5 June 2012, to wit, you lodged an Accident Statement to deceive China Taiping that motor vehicle bearing registration number SGA5751U purportedly driven by you on 4 June 2012 was involved in a genuine accident on 4 June 2012 at about 10.30 pm with motor vehicles SGJ9800M and SFQ7841H along Portsdown Road towards Jalan Hang Jebat, when you knew such a purported accident never took place, and thereby dishonestly induced China Taiping to pay a claim made by Winchester Law LLC on your behalf for property damage to the said SGA5751U for the sum of S$26,618.45, which offence was not committed in consequence of your abetment, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 420 read with Section 116 of the Penal Code Chapter 224. (sic.)

DAC-930350-2016

You, … , are charged that you, sometime in June 2012, in Singapore, did engage in a conspiracy with Sollihin Bin Anhar (“Sollihin”), Rahmat Bin Mohd (“Rahmat”), Ang Xin Yong Ricky (“Ricky”), Teo Kian Wai (“Edward”), Alvin Chia Han Kwang (“Alvin”) and Lee Kit (“Lee”), to cheat China Taiping Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd (“CTI”), and in pursuance of that conspiracy and in order to the doing of that thing, an act took place on 5 June 2012, to wit, Lee obtained a medical certificate dated 5 June 2012 from Shalom Clinic & Surgery to support a personal injury claim for a sum of S$11,931.00 submitted by Roy & Partners (“Roy & Partners”), acting on Lee’s behalf, in order to deceive CTI into believing that the said personal injury claim had resulted from Lee being the purported rear passenger of motor vehicle SGA5751U in a traffic accident with motor vehicles SGJ9800M and SFQ7841H along Portsdown Road on 4 June 2012 at about 10.30 pm, which fact you knew to be false, in order to dishonestly induce CTI into processing the personal injury claim and deliver S$12,749.30 to Roy & Partners, which act was committed in consequence of your abetment, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 420 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. (sic.)

The Accused admitted to three other similar Cheating charges (DAC 930347-2016, DAC 930348-2016 and DAC 930349-2016) and consented for them to be taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.

Statement of Facts

The Accused admitted to the following Statement of Facts without qualification.

Background

1. The complainant is Tay Hwee Meng, a Motor Claims Executive employed by Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore Ltd. (“TMI”).

2. The victim is China Taiping Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd (“CTI”).

3. The accused is Teo Kian Hwee Edwin, NRIC: xxx, male / 27 years old. At the material time, the accused was in possession of SGA5751U, which was registered in his father’s name.

4. The accomplices are:- a. Sollihin Bin Anhar (“Sollihin”). He is also known as “Abu”, b. Rahmat Bin Mohd (“Rahmat”) and c. Ang Xin Yong Ricky (“Ricky”). He works at a motorbike repair workshop.

5. The mastermind of the motor insurance fraud syndicate is Sollihin. He had previously worked in car workshops such as “Master Motors Pte Ltd” (“Master Motors”). He devised plans to stage accidents and make fraudulent insurance claims arising from the accidents. He was assisted by Rahmat to stage these accidents.

First Information Report

6. On 4 February 2013 at about 3.53 pm, the complainant lodged a police report stating that TMI suspected that third-party claims had been made for an accident which purportedly took place on 4 June 2012 along Portsdown Road involving its insured vehicle SGA5751U (“V2”).

7. The particulars of this accident as reported, and the roles of the reported drivers are as follows:-

Vehicle No. Reported Driver(s) Roles
SGJ9800M (V1) Noel Antney Kypas (“Noel”) Phantom driver
SGA5751U (V2) Teo Kian Hwee, Edwin (The accused) Phantom driver. Handed over his car (V2) to Rahmat to be used in the engineered accident collision with V1 and V3
SFQ7841H (V3) Mohamed Rashidi Bin Mohamed Noor (“Rashidi”) Phantom driver – assisted Sollihin to rent V3 from its owner specifically for it to be used in the engineered accident collision with V1 and V2

Facts relating to 1st Charge – DACs 930346/2016

8. Sometime in late May 2012, the accused was at the motorbike repair workshop where Ricky works. Ricky informed the accused that his car had a full body kit1, and asked the accused whether he was interested to have a similar full body kit installed on V2. The accused replied that he was, but was saving up money for it.

9. On 4 June 2012, Ricky informed the accused that he could obtain free body kits if he provided V2 to be used in a staged accident, during which V2 would be collided with another car to deliberately create damages. The accused agreed to the plan, and later that same day drove V2 to the Master Motors upon Ricky’s instructions.

10. Thereat, the accused met Rahmat and handed possession of V2 to him. Rahmat passed the accused the keys to a temporary rental car to be used in the meantime, and asked the accused to sign the rental agreement.

11. Upon Sollihin’s instructions, Rahmat drove V2 to the vicinity of Portsdown Road. Thereat, he met Rashidi who was driving V3, and two unknown Indian males who were driving V1. Rahmat positioned V1 in front of V2, and V3 behind V2. Rahmat reversed V2 and deliberately collided into the front of V3. Rahmat then accelerated V2 and collided into the rear of V1.

12. Thereafter, either Sollihin or Rahmat informed the accused that the accident involving V2 had been staged, and asked him to look for 4 phantom passengers to be planted in V2. The accused decided to include his brother Teo Kian Wai Edward (“Edward”) as a phantom passenger in V2. He informed Edward of the plan to stage an accident and make fraudulent personal injury claims, and Edward agreed to participate in this plan.

13. On 5 June 2012, the accused brought Edward to Master Motors, where he saw V2 which had been damaged at the front and rear. Sollihin informed the accused that Ricky had recruited 2 phantom passengers namely Lee Kit and Alvin Chia Han Kwang, to be planted in V2 as phantom passengers. Sollihin wrote the reporting details of the accident on a piece of paper, and instructed the accused to copy these details onto a blank Singapore Accident Statement (SAS). The accused signed on the sketch plan which stated that he was the driver of V2 when it was involved in a genuine accident on 4 June 2012 with V1 and V3 along Portsdown Road towards Jalan Hang Jebat. The accused further stated in the SAS that there were 3 passengers in V2 at the time of the accident, one of whom is Edward.

14. Thereafter, Sollihin instructed Rahmat to bring the accused to a nearby workshop to lodge the Singapore Accident Statement. The accused read the completed SAS, knowing its contents to be false, signed and lodged it.

15. The accused also instructed law firm Winchester Law LLC (“Winchester Law”) to act on his behalf to lodge fraudulent property damage claims for damage purportedly sustained by V2 during the accident.

16. Subsequently, Winchester Law acting on behalf of the accused sent a letter of demand to CTI demanding $26,618.45 for damage purportedly caused to V2 in the purported traffic accident, enclosing the SAS dated 5 June 2012 lodged by the accused.

17. By such manner of deception, the accused thereby engaged in a conspiracy with Rahmat, Sollihin and Ricky to deceive CTI into believing that the said accident and the damages sustained by V2 were genuine, when the accused knew that they were not, to dishonestly induce CTI into processing the property damage claim and deliver $26,618.45 to Winchester Law, which offence was not committed in consequence of the accused’s abetment.

18. The accused has thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 420 read with Section 116 of the Penal Code (Chapter 224) (“PC”). The accused received free vehicle repairs for V2 in exchange for his participation in this scheme.

Facts relating to 5th Charge – DAC 930350/2016

19. As stated in paragraph 14 above, Ricky had recruited Lee Kit (“Lee”) and Alvin Chia Han Kwang as phantom passengers to be planted in V2. Sometime before 4 June 2012, Ricky asked Lee whether he was interested to earn extra money of a few thousand dollars. After Lee replied yes, he asked for Lee’s name and NRIC number.

20. Ricky directed Lee to visit a doctor at Shalom Clinic & Surgery (“Shalom”) and to lie to the doctor that he was involved in a traffic accident and had injured his back. Lee was aware that fraudulent insurance claims would be made arising from these purported injuries.

21. Lee underwent a medical examination at Shalom, and falsely informed the doctor that he was the rear seat passenger of the accused’s car and that he was injured as a result of a traffic accident. He obtained an MC from the clinic on the same day.

22. A few days later, Ricky arranged for a meet up between the accused, Edward, Alvin and himself at Holland Village. Ricky explained to them the details of the staged accident, namely that it involved three cars, and briefed them on what to say to the lawyers when they instructed them to lodge fraudulent insurance claims....

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