Police arrest 127 for suspected loanshark activities

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested 127 suspects for their alleged involvement in loansharking activities. The 84 men and 43 women, aged 17 to 67, were arrested in an operation from Tuesday to Thursday.

Preliminary investigations showed that seven suspects are believed to be runners who had helped the loansharks by carrying out ATM transfers or getting ATM cards for the syndicates' use. Another three suspects are believed to be harassers who had splashed paint and scrawled loanshark-related graffiti on walls.

Police also arrested a suspect who was believed to have provided false contact information when obtaining loans from loansharks. The suspect will be investigated for not reporting the change of address.

The remaining 116 suspects are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their ATM cards and PIN numbers to loansharks to facilitate their unlicensed moneylending businesses. Investigations against all suspects are ongoing.

Under the Moneylenders' Act (Revised Edition 2010), when a bank account or ATM card of any person is used to facilitate moneylending by an unlicensed moneylender, that person is presumed to have helped unlicensed moneylenders.

First-time offenders found guilty of unlicensed moneylending or helping unlicensed moneylenders could be fined a minimum of $30,000 and up to $300,000, jailed up to four years and receive up to six strokes of the cane.

The public can call the Police on 999 or the X-Ah Long hotline on 1800-924-5664 if they suspect anyone to be involved in illegal loansharking activities.