92 nabbed on suspicion of loan-sharking activities in 3-day police operation

ST GRAPHICS
ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A three-day islandwide operation saw 92 people arrested for involvement in loan-sharking activities, the police said in a news release on Thursday (July 27).

Conducted between Monday and Wednesday, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the six police land divisions took into custody 66 men and 26 women, aged between 17 and 77.

Seventy-three of them are believed to have facilitated illegal moneylending by opening bank accounts and giving away their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loan sharks, preliminary investigations revealed.

Another 13 suspects are believed to have carried out Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions on behalf of loan sharks.

Of the remaining six, three are suspected of providing false contact information to obtain loans and three of carrying out acts of harassment by splashing paint and scrawling graffiti on walls.

Under the Moneylenders' Act, a person is presumed to have assisted in loan-sharking activities when his bank account or ATM card is used to facilitate unlicensed moneylending.

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

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

"Members of the public are advised to stay away from loan sharks and not to work with or assist them in any way," the police added.

The public can call the Police at '999' or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in illegal loan-sharking activities.