A 22-year-old People’s Republic of China (PRC) student studying in Singapore was fined S$40,000 for cheating rent seekers of over S$11,000 in rental commission over 6 months. Zhang Qian Long set up a Mandarin website for foreigners in Singapore who wish to seek a place to rent. He would go to the rental site and claimed himself as a friend of the tenant under the alias “Daniel”. Zhang Qian Long will then negotiate the rent on the tenant’s behalf like a licensed property agent and he will receive commissions equivalent to half of a month’s rent.

Between Jan and Jul 2014, Zhang Qian Long netted over S$11,000 in commissions and his clients are mostly employment holders from China.

Zhang Qian Long pleaded for clemency saying his mother in China is the sole breadwinner of the family and she has recently lost her job. He then claimed his grandparents are ill and the family is financially in dire straits in China. Zhang Qian Long arrived in Singapore alone when he was 14 and completed his A levels in 2012. It is unknown what education institution Zhang Qian Long is with or what visa he is holding now but he did not have to serve National Service.