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11 Arrested for Loansharking Activities

by December 22, 2016 Technology

The Police have arrested nine men and two women, aged between 15 and 66, in an islandwide anti-loansharking operation that took place between 19 and 21 December 2016.

During the three-day operation, officers from Jurong Division conducted simultaneous raids at multiple locations in Singapore to effect the arrests. Preliminary investigations revealed that two suspects are believed to be runners who assisted the loansharks in their business by carrying out Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transfers. Investigations against the two suspects are ongoing.

Three other suspects are believed to be harassers who had carried out loansharking harassments at public housing estates islandwide by splashing paints at the main doors, locking the gates of debtors’ residences and scribbling graffiti on the wall. One suspect will be charged in Court on 23 December 2016 while investigations against the other two suspects are ongoing.

The remaining six suspects are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loansharks to facilitate their unlicensed moneylending business. Investigations against the six suspects are ongoing.

Under the Moneylenders Act (Revised Edition 2010), first-time offenders found guilty of carrying on the business as an unlicensed moneylender or assisting in the business of unlicensed moneylending may be fined not less than $30,000 and not more $300,000, be imprisoned for a term not exceeding four years, and shall also be liable to be punished with caning not more than six strokes.

Also, under the Moneylenders Act (Revised Edition 2010), first time offenders found guilty of loanshark harassment shall be fined not less than $5,000 and not more than $50,000, with mandatory imprisonment of up to 5 years and mandatory caning of up to 6 strokes.