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Thursday, Aug 21, 2014

Singapore

Elderly woman asking for money at Holland Village can get thousands of dollars on weekends

Stomp | Thursday, Aug 21, 2014

An elderly woman who has been showing up in Holland Village and going around to ask for money can fetch up to thousands of dollars on weekends, according to a report by Lianhe Wanbao.

The matter was first reported on Stomp by Stomp contributor Michelle, who said that the elderly woman had been frequenting areas in Holland Village asking patrons there for money.

Her modus operandi?

She would approach people and ask them for money, telling them stories of her misfortune, from getting scammed by banks to getting cheated.

The most common amongst them was the tale of her raising money for a friend.

"Contrary to others, she won't ask for help but will ask for $10, $20 or even $50, and will tell you that she has not eaten anything all day apart from biscuits," said Michelle.

"She will also pretend to cry once she arrives at your table, and look normal and healthy once she gets her money," she added.

The entire process -- from her approaching customers, to getting the money and subsequently exchanging them for higher valued bills before finally depositing the money into a bank account -- has since been witnessed by reporters from Lianhe Wanbao.

Upon depositing the money, she was then seen getting into a cab and leaving.

"She doesn't just show up on weekends, but weekdays as well, at around 8 - 9pm daily," says the owner of the restaurant, Curry Hut.

He added that he had once witnessed a customer handing her a $50 bill, and had previously admonished her for disturbing the customers.

However, he said that whenever he's not in the store, she would take the opportunity and ask for money at his stalls anyway.

He recollected seeing her counting her earnings by the roadside.

"Every piece (bill) was a $50 dollar note, so it's a thousand dollars at the least," he said.

An interviewee who declined to be named, said that it has been about half a year since the appearance of " the begging elderly woman".

Another 22-year-old interviewee said that he had given the auntie $30, recounting how she told him she was 81 years old, and the guarantor for the son of her friend.

The interviewee added that he gave her the money because he pitied her having to do such an arduous task at her age.

After the incident was reported on Stomp, reporters from Lianhe Wanbao approached the elderly lady.

She declined to comment and promptly took out her phone to call an unidentified person. She was then heard conversing in dialect.

"The news is going to cover this (begging activity), so there is going to be big trouble. My daughter will be angry with me," she was heard telling the unknown person.

Several interviewees who have contributed have since admitted that they have been too kind-hearted.

Crocodile tears or not, you decide.


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