A 41-year-old man, Sinaiya Vathaiya Pillai (“Sinaiya”) has been convicted for being involved in the running a fraudulent timeshare recovery business through a company, Solution One Pte Ltd. The company deceived owners of timeshare memberships that it could help them recover money by terminating their memberships and they had to pay fees or taxes to the company in order to process the recovery of the money. Between August 2013 and September 2015, 47 owners of timeshare memberships were deceived and paid a total of $942,141.72 to Solution One Pte Ltd.
Sinaiya knew that the company had in fact no intention or means to recover any monies for the timeshare owners. These victims ended up getting nothing in return after making payments to Solution One Pte Ltd.
On 16 June 2020, Sinaiya was convicted after a trial, for fraudulent trading under Section 340(1) read with Section 340(5) of the Companies Act. He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on 30 July 2020 for his offence.
Sinaiya’s accomplices, Mohamed Yasin Bin Karduli, Annie Sahlawaty Binte Mohd Salleh and Muhammad Ridzuwan Bin Roslan, had all pleaded guilty earlier and were convicted for, inter alia, a similar charge under section 3401(1) read with Section 340(5) of the Companies Act. They were sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, six years and six months’ corrective training, and three years’ imprisonment respectively.
The Police would like to advise members of the public to be vigilant when receiving unsolicited calls from companies or persons purporting to help them recover monies from their timeshare memberships. Members of the public should adopt the following precautions:
- Be wary when an unknown person calls you regarding your timeshare membership;
- Refrain from providing any personal information or information on your timeshare membership to the caller;
- Conduct background checks on the company’s track record before engaging its services;
- Check with your timeshare developer if the caller was authorised by the timeshare developer to deal with your timeshare membership;
- Request for a copy of the documentation on their proposals, representations, contracts and agreements. Be wary if the company is reluctant to provide you with such documentation; and
- Exercise caution especially if you are asked to make upfront payments.
Members of the public are also advised to only invest with persons or entities who are regulated by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The list of persons and entities that are regulated by MAS can be found at MAS’ Financial Institutions Directory: https://eservices.mas.gov.sg/fid .
Source: Singapore Police Force