If convicted under the Estate Agents Act, the 42-year-old PropNex Realty agent faces up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Real estate agent Charles Tan Chun Peng has been charged on Wednesday (20 October) with failing to report a suspicious transaction for a condominium unit in Upper Serangoon, reported TODAY.
The transaction that the 42-year-old PropNex Realty agent oversaw involved a condominium unit at Kingsford Waterbay.
In August last year, police received a complaint that an Option to Purchase (OTP) for a private property unit was rescinded since the buyer was an undischarged bankrupt and the co-buyer was below 21 years old.
Court documents showed that the buyer was Ho Ah Leng, while the co-buyer was his son, Harold Ho Kuo Lung.
In October 2016, the buyer had told Tan that he would be paying the unit’s 5% booking fee of $44,300 in cash since he did not have a bank account.
Tan allegedly collected $11,000 from the buyer on the spot and deposited the money in his bank account, which he jointly owns with his wife. He agreed to collect the remaining $33,300 the following day.
On 19 October 2016, Tan went over to the buyer’s home and collected $32,300, which was placed in a plastic bag. The police noted that Tan had taken a photo of the bag, which he sent to another real estate agent.
“The photograph was accompanied with Mandarin words which literally translate to mean ‘cannot see the light’, but colloquially used to mean ‘shady’,” said the police as quoted by TODAY.
Tan deposited the cash in three tranches into the joint bank account and handed a cheque to Kingsford Property Development, the developer of the private property, as planned.
A few days later, however, the buyer’s ex-wife told the agent that Ho Ah Leng was an undischarged bankrupt and is operating illegal gambling dens, said the police.
The ex-wife then asked for the acquisition to be made void and for the money to be returned.
Court documents stated that while Tan had reasonable grounds to suspect that the money came from the buyer’s criminal conduct, he did not file any suspicious transaction report on the property acquisition.
With this, he faces three charges – one for failure to lodge a suspicious transaction report and two under the Estate Agents Act for holding transaction money on behalf of a developer for the sale or purchase of a property.
Tan, who has indicated his intent to plead guilty, is set to return to court on 1 December.
He faces up to six months imprisonment or up to $10,000 fine, or both if convicted under the Estate Agents Act.
“If convicted under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, he could be fined up to $20,000,” said TODAY.
Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.