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The wife of a vegetable stall owner was accused of threatening four debt collectors with a chopper when the four came to collect an outstanding debt of S$20,000.
The incident happened at a vegetable stall in a market at Block 497, Jurong West Street 41, on Tuesday (July 4), at around 9am, reports Shin Min Daily News via Lianhe Zaobao.
In lieu of the accusations, the owner’s wife explained that she had been bullied by the four ‘gangsters’ and wielded the knife in self-defence.
“Those guys in black threatened to kill me and my husband, and there was a knife by the side of the cashier, so I just threw it out without thinking.”
Six police officers also went down to the scene to mediate the situation.
It is understood that the four men came from a debt collection company and had shown up at the vegetable stall at around 9am.
They brought along with them a signboard which read, ‘debt collection in progress, do not panic’.
A 37-year-old supervisor from the company revealed that they had received a request from a client, a vegetable supplier, to retrieve S$20,000 of debt from the stall owner.
Said the supervisor:
“When our employees requested to meet with the boss, she told them he was away.”
He said that the woman then threw a 10cm-long chopper in front of herself, and taunted the four to stab her with it.
Reporters observed both parties snapping photos of each other using their phones.
The four men left at around 11am.
Before leaving, one of them told the woman that they would be back the following day.
When reporters spoke to the owner of the vegetable stall, he denied owing money and said that he was considering legal actions.
He also admitted that although he had taken wares from a supplier before that, the goods and services did not meet his expectation, and he had stopped working with said supplier more than a year back.
“Before we terminated our working relationship, I made sure to pay off my debts.
“The supplier also engaged another debt collection company two to three months back, but the company did not accept the case as they felt that the evidence was not substantial.
“The receipts which the supplier gave did not contain our signatures, and they couldn't verify if it was us who owe the debt.”