Chua Tiong Tiong, better known as Ah Long San, arguably Singapore's most notorious loan shark who cultivated a network of cops to help in his multi-million illegal moneylending syndicate, died on Monday (Aug 27) morning. It was reported that Chua, 62, had suffered a heart attack while alone in his parked car.
The car was parked along the roadside in Geylang, where Chua had operated his loansharking business in the 1990s. He was taken unconscious to Tan Tock Seng Hospital around 9am. It was not reported if Chua was there for business matters, or just to relieve memories of his loan sharking days operating out of Geylang.
The case has been classified as unnatural death and police investigations are ongoing. Latest checks on the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority showed that Chua was the owner of a karaoke lounge since October 2012.
Better known by his nickname which means "Mr Loan Shark", Ah Long San ran a multi-million-dollar syndicate that spread far and wide, and included his own brother Chua Tiong Chye, some 40 runners, and more than 1,000 borrowers. The syndicate raked in about $500,000 a month, and was believed to be one of the biggest operations at that time. Ah Long San was able to evade arrest and detection for over a decade through the network of officers in the police force whom he depended on for information and tip-offs.
He had reportedly spent years cultivating police officers, entertaining them at nightclubs, paying for their holidays and even sponsoring the studies of an officer overseas, in exchange for a heads up when police conducted raids.
Chua was eventually jailed in 2001, and with him, ten police officers, among them an assistant superintendent and three inspectors, were also jailed as a result of the corruption scandal.