110 arrested by police in 39-hour anti-loansharking operation

A total of 110 suspects were arrested in an island-wide operation which ended on Wednesday, for their alleged involvement in loansharking activities, said the police.

In the 39-hour operation, a total of 75 men and 35 women were nabbed, including five who are believed to have provided false contact information when obtaining loans from loansharks.

The suspects were aged between 16 and 75. Raids took place at areas like Sengkang, Jurong and Bedok at the same time.

The police said on Thursday that preliminary investigations showed that 15 suspects are believed to be involved in loansharking activities as harassers, or as runners who facilitated the loansharks in their businesses by carrying out bank transfers and distributing flyers promoting the loan facilities.

The remaining suspects are under investigation for opening bank accounts and giving away their bank cards and Personal Identification Numbers to loansharks to facilitate their unlicensed moneylending businesses.

First-time offenders found guilty of assisting in the business of unlicensed moneylending may be fined between $30,000 and $300,000, be imprisoned for a term of up to four years and may also face up to six strokes of the cane.

First-time offenders found guilty of acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, committing or attempting to commit any acts of harassment faces a jail term of up to five years, a fine of between $5,000 and $50,000, and between three and six strokes of the cane.

Anyone convicted of providing false contact information to obtain loans from loansharks may face up to a year in jail.