If there’s something you probably shouldn’t do if you don’t have a licence, it’s fixing things.
Especially things that could potentially be dangerous, such as electricity.
But one man did just that, and was just sentenced to four weeks in jail and a fine of $35,000 yesterday (23 September).
The man, Li Yuling (hanyu pinyin), was faced with over two hundred charges in total, with some of his charges concerning fraud and others falling under the Electricity Act.
He pleaded guilty to 17 charges, with the other charges being taken into consideration during sentencing.
Here’s what happened.
Repaired Electronic Products Despite Not Having Licence
Court documents revealed that Li, 58, carried out repair services for various electronic products from November 2015 to January 2021.
This was while he did not have a licence, which all electricians in Singapore are required to have if they want to carry out the relevant services.
Apparently, Li would advertise his services through newspaper advertisements or fridge magnets. He claimed that he could solve issues related to power failure and was able to repair other electronic products as well.
However, instead of repairing the products properly, he would claim that his clients’ appliances had faulty equipment inside of them and take the chance to quote exorbitantly high rates for the “repair” works.
His victims would then have to fork out extra money to pay for additional repair services.
Some of his clients also found out afterwards that these repair services ended up damaging the equipment, creating fire hazards.
One Victim Got Charged $400 Extra
During one of his “appointments” on 5 February 2020, a 68-year-old woman surnamed Lin (hanyu pinyin) engaged Li for his services after her house experienced a power outage.
Li visited her house for the appointment and told Lin that the earth-leakage circuit breaker (ELCB) in her house was damaged and asked for $760 in repair fees.
However, after “repairing” the equipment, he claimed that he did not have any screws that were of the appropriate size and proceeded to simply tape the equipment back together.
When Lin’s son visited her three months ago, he realised that the job that Li had done seemed suspicious. This prompted him to call Li up and request a receipt from him.
In response to his request, Li claimed that he had fallen sick and did not offer any other replies afterwards.
This led to Lin’s son engaging another professional for the repair work at her house. The professional found out that there were issues with the equipment and that the issues had even caused fire hazards.
After the professionals repaired Lin’s equipment, they only charged her $360, a far cry from Li’s rate of $760.
Has Refunded Victims for Services, Has Apparently Been Doing Repairs Since He Finished NS
Since then, Li has apparently refunded all his clients in full.
In court, he also claimed that he has been carrying out “simple electronic repair services” since he completed his National Service, but did not deny carrying out these services without a valid licence.
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