Fifteen arrested for loan sharking activities

Police arrested 15 people suspected of being involved in loan sharking activity on Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016.
Police arrested 15 people suspected of being involved in loan sharking activity on Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Fifteen people were arrested for their suspected involvement in loan sharking activities on Wednesday (Jan 27). Two women and 13 men, aged between 22 and 59, were arrested in in two separate operations, police said on Thursday. (Jan 28)

In the first operation, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and Police Intelligence Department conducted simultaneous raids at multiple locations and arrested six suspects.

They were believed to be 'runners' who collected repayments and disbursed loans to borrowers.

A laptop, thumb drive, mobile phones, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards, internet banking dongles, bank transaction slips and over $13,000 in cash were also seized.

In the second operation, officers from the Clementi Police Division arrested nine on suspicion of assisting loanshark syndicates. Preliminary investigations revealed one suspect as a 'runner' who helped to procure ATM cards from debtors, and another as having provided false contact information when obtaining loans from loan sharks.

Investigations under the National Registration Act will be carried out against the said suspect for failing to report the change of address, the police said.

The remaining seven suspects are believed to have opened bank accounts and provided their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loan sharks to facilitate their unlicensed moneylending businesses.

Three of the suspects arrested will be charged in court on Friday (Jan 29) with offences under the Moneylenders Act, while investigations are ongoing for the rest.

Police advised the public to dial '999' or call the X-Ah Long hotline on 1800-924-5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who may be involved in illegal loan sharking activities.

tiffanyt@sph.com.sg