paiseh long story but all details have to be in. I whole nite cannot sleep have to get this out of my system.
was at jurong point for lunch on 24 Oct. Near the L1 exit leading to boon lay MRT, one gal approach me with the standard white donation bag with slit in front. asking if I would like to donate to needy.
i thought strange why one solo girl asking donation on a monday noon. but anyway fish out a $2 ready to drop it in. I think she sensed my generosity, she pulled away the bag slightly and flipped out a clipboard, showed me photos of handicap and old people, say these are the people they are helping. ask me can donate $10 and write down on a form. the form already got 10+ people donated $10 each. Also, if I wanted to help them more, can buy items made by them, opening her bag to show me some handcraft stuff which i cannot recall is what.
woah... waoh... happening too fast. so i asked for her ID for soliciting donations. she dun have, instead show me a letter with "MERCY VISION" on top.... letter says she is authorised blah blah blah.... didnt read. below is signed off by a "director". Looks fishy...
I told her I do not mind donating but give me some time do some research on MERCY VISION, she kind of laughed softly, thinking i was giving an excuse to siam. but i really went one corner to google and saw it was a sole proprietor with a HDB flat as registered address.... wth..... dun look right.
I went back to observe more and noticed one very tall guy with her. both running around separately asking for donations. when people wave them away they will go to next one. people who take out coin or $2 to drop into bag, they will shield away the donation bag and persuade them to upgrade to $10 or buy stuff. wah... cannot take it liao. i call police and kept my eyes on them. The gal was petite, very hard to keep track, so I focused on the guy, who was very tall and had had his hair dyed white. I must say they managed to get quite a number of people to donate. When the girl showed me the form, there was already 10+ names, means collected at least $100+, not counting what was dropped into the bag. Assuming the guy got the same amount, they must have collected more than $300.
Police came and I directed them to the guy. While police was talkng to the guy, i noticed the girl hiding in a corner and looked scared. so i confirm they guilty already. if not gal sure go up and support the guy in talking to police right. I thought this was a sure case and Police did not need my help further. So I told police I am going back to work and requested to be updated on the case.
But I got a damn rude shock when the police called me in the evening and updated me. say they did nothing wrong. apparently their story is that they are a "private company just selling handicraft". not representing any charity. i inform the police they clearly asked for donations and show pictures of handicap and asked to support them by buy their things. police say they never see any photos. so have to let them go.
then it dawned on me. it was a damn clever plan.
1. company registered as sole proprietorship, MERCY VISION. although clearly named to mislead people to think they are a charity, but legally still a private company.
2. letter they showed people never say anything about charity in black and white, just very big letterhead MERCY VISION and letter cleverly written peppered with words like "authorised" with NRIC and signed off by "director". Nobody will read fully the 5 - 6 paragraphs, But the letter and pictures of old and handicap and the standard donation bag, one will auto assume they are charity. Plus verbally they keep saying "please donate", "help the poor".
3. To police or when challenged, they will say we are a private company, selling our products.
4. White donation bag has no logo or anything. So although the whole world recognise the bag as a charity collection, they no need to explain why they are carrying that.
5. Somehow they lucky police never search them or they managed to hide the photos of the handicap and old. so no evidence of them adbuse the name of charity.
6. Let away scot free with police telling them not to sell things in public places without permit. viola! that's it!!!
to me, when it comes to earning money illegally. you can rob a bank, murder for money or sell drugs for all i care. but one do not abuse or anyhow say "for charity" when it is not. it will weaken the name and position of real charities that are doing very good work.
So if anyone encountered this guy or his female accomplice on 24 Oct about noon to 130pm outside jurong point, please PM me. If enough people come forward and confirm that they were asking for donation for charity instead of selling "company products", I will persuade the SPF to further look into this. if not, please at least help to spread awareness about this scam. These people are selling "products", not helping charity, no matter how they mislead you or looks like they are. I do a lot for charity, I really hate that they are getting away.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke.