Restate agent was indicted for not recording unusual property transaction

Upper Serangoon condo agent Charles Tan was arrested and accused of failing to disclose a suspicious transaction involving the sale of the property.

The 42-year-old PropNex Realty agent was in charge of a deal involving a Kingsford Waterbay condominium.

An OTP for a private property unit was revoked because the buyer was an undischarged bankrupt and the co-buyer was under 21 years old, according to complaint police received in August of last year.

According to court records, the buyer was Ho Ah Leng, with his son Harold Ho Kuo Lung as a co-buyer.

It was revealed in October 2016 that the customer would be handing over $44,300 in cash to cover the unit's 5% booking charge because they did not have any bank accounts.

Cash reported that Tan immediately took $11,000 from the buyer and put it into a joint account he shares with his wife. He promised to come back the next day to get the remaining $33,300.

A few days later, on October 19, Tan showed up at the buyer's house with a plastic bag containing $32,300. Tan had taken a picture of the bag and forwarded it to another real estate agent, according to the police.

According to the authorities, the image was accompanied by Mandarin phrases that meant 'cannot see the light,' but was slang for shady,' according to a report in TODAY.

Tan gave a check to the private property developer, Kingsford Property Development, and transferred the money in three instalments into the joint bank account.

Though Ho Ah Leng was found to be an undischarged bankrupt and running illegal gambling dens by the buyer's ex-wife a few days later by the police.

She then demanded that their purchase be declared null and invalid and for her funds to be reimbursed.

According to court records, even though Tan had reasonable reasons to assume that the money was obtained via illegal activity on the buyer's part, he failed to submit a suspicious transaction report about the property purchase.

As a result, he faces three charges: one for failing to file a suspicious transaction report and two under the Estate Agents Act for keeping transaction money on behalf of a developer in connection with the sale or purchase of a property, respectively.

Tan will appear in court on December 1 to enter a plea of guilty.

According to the Estate Agents Act, he might be jailed for up to six months or fined up to $10,000, or both.

A punishment of up to $20,000 is possible if he is found guilty under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act.