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A 69-year-old female boss squandered S$2,500,000 on slot machines and incurred another S$1,700,000 debt to loansharks.
Her family members subsequently raised over S$800,000 to help pay for her debt, and suspected that the a loanshark syndicate had masqueraded as ‘credit lenders’ to trick the woman into lending money, reports Lianhe Wanbao via Lianhe Zaobao.
The woman, who started a factory with her siblings held the deeds to many estates, had started playing the slot machines in 2014 after her sister with whom she was staying with died from cancer.
She became addicted to the slot machines and lost so much money, that she had to charge most of her daily expenses to her credit cards.
At one point, she owed over S$600,000 in card debts, and 25 credit lenders another S$1100,000.
Under mediation from social workers, the credit lenders agreed to let the woman pay off the amount in a $S800,000 payment.
The money was raised by the woman’s siblings and paid to the lenders.
The woman swore off gambling after the incident.
However after three months, an employee from one of the money lenders had called the woman again, asking her if she needed to lend money.
Despite her oath, the woman ended up borrowing S$50,000.
Soon, the amount ballooned up t S$1,700,000, as the woman settled into a vicious cycle of borrowing more money so she could meet the payments.
She ended up borrowing S$130,000 within a year, and even had to fork out S$210,000 for ‘administration fees and interests’ for one of the lenders.
The lenders would recommended her to other lenders so she could get new loans to repay her debts, resulting in her owing three credit lenders over S$370,000.
The woman’s younger brother said that his sister had gotten involved with almost 40 loansharks.
He also suspected that all of them came from the same organisation and specifically targeted his sister for her wealth.
The man lamented:
“Every time the time came for her to make payments, my sister would receive calls from the lenders or loansharks.
“She would pay them back on the same day.”
After the incident, the woman said that she lost over S$2,500,000 in savings and another S$2,000,000 in debts in two years.