Over 60 affected after sudden closure of limousine company, thousands in deposits allegedly missing

Submitted by Stomper Koh

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At least 60 drivers allegedly had their deposits forfeited after a limousine service company in Geylang suddenly shut down. 

The company in question was situated along Lorong 23 Geylang and provided limousine services. 

Stomper Koh was one of the driver affected.

In a phone call with Stomp, Koh said that he was introduced to the company in May by his brother-in-law, who had joined earlier with his nephew, and two friends.

Koh reportedly paid $1,500 in a deposit on May 12, and was told to pay $1,500 on May 15.

However, before the second payment was due, his brother-in-law called him on May 14 to inform him that the company had closed down, and the office had been vacated. 

Koh said that each of them paid $1,500, while one of his brother-in-law’s friends who held a P-plate licence paid $2,000. 

The total sum amounted to $8,000. 

Koh old Stomp that the company charged the deposits based on the car models rented, as well as the years of driving experience of the drivers. 

The five of them subsequently went down to the Police Cantonment Complex on May 15 to lodge a police report. 

Said Koh:

“We tried calling them but the people who interviewed us earlier all could not be reached at all.

“All of them had turned off their phones.”

According to Shin Min Daily News, the company was established on March 13 this year.

Merely two months into its operation, there were rumours that the boss of the company had reportedly ‘absconded’ with the deposits of the drivers which amounted to tens of thousands.

One of the affected drivers, Mr Lin, 52, told Shin Min Daily News that he had paid the company $2,000 for a deposit, and a manager had allegedly told him that he was to start working on April 17.

He said:

"The manager told us that we will be transporting various VIPs from overseas, such as bosses of big enterprises.

“He also told us that we needed to be in ‘proper’ attire.”

However, the manager did not inform him of the time and venue for the collection of his limousine.

He then called the company on May 15 and was allegedly told that the boss had vanished, along with his and other drivers' deposits, and that the manager has lodged a police report.

Mr Lin said:

“I was shocked and immediately rushed down to their office in Geylang. 

“The place was empty and there was a crowd gathering outside.

“All of us decided to go to the police together.”

According to Mr Lin, the group then went to the police post in Bedok North where they found over 10 individuals camping outside.

They later found out that these people were in the same boat and had chosen to report the case to the police. 

Mr Lin continued:

“We've set up a group. There are more than 30 of us.

“We also heard that a large group of people had also lodged police reports and we believe that there are at least 60 drivers who are affected.”

Another affected driver, Mr Xu, 37, revealed that the company rented out three different models of cars, and drivers had to pay a deposit amount ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 based on the model rented.

As such, he believed that the sum involved amounted to tens of thousands. 

Mr Xu lamented:

“I trusted the company fully and handed them $3,000.

“Now I have no idea what to do.”

In response to media queries, a police spokesman confirmed it had received reports about the incident and investigations are ongoing. 

Attempts by Shin Min Daily News to reach the manager of the company were unsuccessful.

Another driver revealed that he came across the company on Facebook, and was immediately attracted due to the high salary and the lack of a rental fee. 

He said:

“The company said that we won’t need to search for our own customers, nor do we need to pay rental fees. 

“The only requirement was having to work at least 80 hours a week, and we would be able to earn $2,200.

“It was really quite tempting.”