Gathering a crew of criminals eager to absolve themselves from debts and financial hardship, a 40 year-old Malaysian, Tew Yee Jeng, made several trips to Singapore between 2012 and 2014, to orchestrate scam traffic accidents which he would use to make insurance claims for property damage and bodily injuries.
The drivers he recruited would suddenly slam their brakes on purpose, leading to collisions with the vehicles behind them that could not be stopped in time. Tew and his band of crooks managed to claim almost $18,300 in damages to them in 2012 out of a total of $105,000 in motor insurance claims submitted that year.
Yesterday, Tew was convicted of 3 counts of abetment by conspiracy to cheat, one count of abetment by conspiracy to provide false information to a public servant and one count of reckless driving. He will be sentenced today and faces up to 10 years jail and a fine for each charge of abetment by conspiracy to cheat, and 1 year’s jail and a fine of up to S$5,000 for abetment to provide false information to a public servant.
During the court proceedings, the court heard that on one occasion on 3rd July last year, Tew and three accomplices — Goh Hua Loon, Jonathan Tan, and Yew Yun Xiang — were cruising around the Woodlands area in two cars when Tew spotted a heavy vehicle. Keeping a mobile phone on speaker mode, Tew and Yew commanded Goh and Tan, who were driving a white Toyota Estima in front of the heavy vehicle, to jam the brakes.The sudden halt caused the heavy vehicle to collide into the rear of Goh’s vehicle. Yew and Tan left Singapore on the night of the incident while a claim of S$54,710 was submitted to AXA Insurance Singapore for damages to Goh’s vehicle.
According to the prosecution, Tew had targeted a Singapore-registered heavy vehicle to “maximise the property damage insurance claim that could be submitted”.
Tew’s ploys came to light when an executive at AXA engaged a surveyor to assess the matter.
Although almost all of the cheats have been apprehended, 3 of Tew’s accomplices — Yew Yun Xiang, Tang Jui Peng, 40 and Chai Yoong Fah, 52 — are still at large.