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The contractor who went missing with the $27,000 deposit without completing a cat hotel's renovations was alleged to have cheated someone else of $30,000 in an earlier scam involving a deal to transport sand.
Stomp reported last week that the contractor, Helme Hamid, had promised the cat hotel's owner, Alfred Khan, that the renovations would be completed by Aug 21 but has since gone MIA, according to Alfred.
When doing an online search for Helme, Alfred found a post in the Facebook group "SG Business Blacklist / Scam Alert" that simply said: "Please PM me if you have been a victim of Helme Bin Abdul Hamid's scam."
Alfred was surprised to discover that the post was made by his own cousin, Hafiz Yazit, and the same man, Helme, had allegedly cheated them both.
Stomp contacted Hafiz and this is his story.
Hafiz told Stomp: "In early August 2020, my dad and I were approached by my dad's acquaintance, Helme Bin Abdul Hamid.
"At first, he claimed he wanted to help my dad as my dad is retired and has medical issues. He offered a joint venture investment project in Malaysia dealing with tugboats and barges for transporting sand.
"The deal was that we had to come up with a capital of $30,000. In return, there would be an $8,400 profit after two to three months and he will only take $1,000 plus as a commission and document processing fee.
"On Aug 17, 2020, we met up at my dad's house in Tampines, and instead of providing the supporting documentation for the project, he came out with an IOU letter which indicated that we would lend him the $30,000 and he would return it with interest by November 2020. He mentioned that he did not have the documentation as all of it was still being processed in Malaysia.
"However, we still gave him the money on the same day as he was persistent and the deal had to be confirmed ASAP."
Hafiz shared a copy of the IOU letter with Stomp.
He continued: "Three months passed. I tried to contact him but to no avail. His mobile was either suspended or terminated. I frequently headed down to his home address to discuss the project and our money, but he was always not at home.
"More than a year later, on May 18 this year, I came across him at a Tampines coffee shop and approached him, asking for my money. He said he was also cheated and didn't have the money.
"He promised to pay me in instalments of $500 to $1,000 per month, but I only received $500 the following month and he went missing again.
"So I posted on Facebook for anyone who knows him or has been scammed by him to contact me in private and some of his victims did contact me. They told me that they were scammed with pawn tickets or renovation projects which were not completed or even started."
And his cousin Alfred was one of them.