Man linked to housing loan scam still at large after warrant of arrest issued in October

SINGAPORE – A man linked to a housing loan scam who had a warrant of arrest issued against him last month is still at large, a district court heard on Monday (Nov 29).

Odd job worker Saiful Azri Ali Amat, now 36, had pleaded guilty in September to one count of attempted cheating after he tried to dupe DBS Bank into approving and delivering a mortgage loan of $2.88 million in February 2015.

The Singaporean had also pleaded guilty to two drug-related charges – one count each of methamphetamine possession and consumption.

Saiful was out on bail of $30,000 when he failed to turn up in court on Oct 12 for his mitigation and sentencing. A warrant of arrest was then issued against him.

His fiancee, who was also his bailor, told District Judge Ronald Gwee on Monday that she had tried to contact Saiful by phone every day but he failed to respond.

She also roped in his loved ones to help bring him to justice, the court heard.

Two offenders linked to the housing loan scam were dealt with in court earlier.

Last year, former property agent Zulkarnain Lim Zulkefli, then 33, was given two weeks’ jail after admitting that he had engaged in a conspiracy with home owner Lau Ai Geck to fraudulently execute a Land Titles Act transfer form containing a false statement in 2015.

The form stated that the sale price of Lau’s Limbok Terrace house, near Yio Chu Kang Road, was $3.6 million when the agreed sale price was, in fact, $2.6 million.

Lau, who was 63 when she was charged in 2019, was fined $16,000 for her role in the ruse.

The cases involving two others – Bijabahadur Rai Shree Kantrai, 51, and Sufandi Ahmad, 41 – are still pending.

Bijabahadur had allegedly proposed to Sufandi a “cashback scheme” linked to the sale of private landed properties.

An unnamed acquaintance later introduced Sufandi to Saiful, who agreed to be listed as the buyer of the Limbok Terrace house.

Saiful accepted Sufandi’s proposal despite knowing he did not have the financial means to purchase or finance the property.

When Sufandi contacted Zulkarnain, expressing interest in the house, Zulkarnain started negotiations and Lau agreed to sell it for $2.6 million.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Benedict Chan said in earlier proceedings: “Lau subsequently agreed to state an inflated sale price of $3.6 million on the conveyancing documents.

“Sufandi, Zulkarnain and Lau all knew that the purpose of stating an inflated sale price on the conveyancing documents was to enable Saiful… to obtain a larger loan from a bank.”

According to court documents, Sufandi later obtained forged documents, including one purportedly from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore falsely stating that Saiful had an annual income of $458,000 in 2013.

These documents were then sent to DBS Bank to try to obtain a mortgage loan of $2.88 million.

The bank later discovered that Saiful’s income documents were forged and cancelled the application before any loans were disbursed.

The Commercial Affairs Department was alerted in March 2015.

Separately, Saiful was also caught for drug-related offences in October last year.

A review on matters involving his warrant of arrest will take place next month.


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