Property agent fined for failing to report suspicious transaction over purchase of new condominium unit

SINGAPORE: A property agent was fined S$12,000 on Wednesday (Dec 1) for failing to flag a suspicious transaction after a purchaser used money to try to purchase a new condominium unit.

PropNex Realty’s Charles Tan Chun Peng failed to make a report even after studying that the customer was accused of utilizing proceeds from legal actions to pay for the unit, TODAY reported.

It was later found that the customer was an undischarged bankrupt. 

Tan, 42, pleaded responsible on Wednesday to one rely of not making a suspicious transaction report and one other of holding cash on behalf of the condominium developer. A 3rd related cost was considered for sentencing.

The case goes again to October 2016 when Tan performed a viewing of a present flat for a father and his household.

The father determined to purchase a unit along with his son and pay a 5 per cent reserving payment of S$44,300, mentioned the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) in a media launch.

However, when the reserving payment was due to be paid, the daddy knowledgeable Tan that he may solely pay the payment in money as he didn’t have a checking account, CEA mentioned.

They accepted Tan’s provide to difficulty a cheque for the cost and the daddy handed over S$11,000 in money on the present flat. Tan deposited the cash into his checking account the subsequent day, mentioned CEA.

Tan later went to the daddy’s residence the place he was handed a purple plastic bag containing S$32,300 in money. The agent used his private funds to cowl the shortfall of S$1,000.

“Tan also deposited the S$32,300 cash into his bank account and later handed over a cheque for S$44,300 which he issued to the developer as payment of the booking fee on the purchasers’ behalf,” mentioned CEA.

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A couple of days later, Tan was knowledgeable by the daddy’s ex-wife that he was an undischarged bankrupt, whereas the son was beneath 21 years outdated and subsequently not eligible to purchase property in Singapore.

She requested that the purchase be made void and the reserving payment refunded to the purchasers, CEA mentioned, including that the developer later issued the refund in full.  

According to the TODAY report, the ex-wife informed Tan that the person runs unlawful playing dens and had been in jail a number of instances.

During investigations, Tan admitted that he discovered it suspicious that the person had such a big sum of money when he was an undischarged bankrupt, mentioned the report. He additionally admitted suspecting that what the person’s ex-wife mentioned might be true. 

In its media launch, CEA burdened that property companies and brokers should not allowed to deal with transaction funds for or on behalf of any celebration within the sale or purchase of property in Singapore and the lease of HDB property. 

“This regulation is to defend customers’ pursuits,” mentioned CEA.

“If companies or brokers deal with transaction monies, they might compromise the integrity of the transaction and put their shoppers in danger particularly in the event that they misappropriate the cash or convert the cash for their very own use.”

CEA additionally suggested customers not to hand transaction funds to their property companies and brokers or make such requests to them.

Additional reporting by Natasha Ganesan.

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