Police nab 122 suspects in islandwide crime blitz

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested 122 people, including 30 women, in an islandwide crime blitz which mostly cracked down on loanshark activities.

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and six Police land divisions conducted raids between Monday and Thursday.

A total of 104 people were arrested for their alleged involvement in loanshark offences. The remaining 18 people had been on the police wanted list for offences ranging from cheating and criminal breach of trust to theft and drug offences.

Police said preliminary investigations revealed nine of the suspects were believed to be involved in loansharking activities as runners, who assisted loansharks in their businesses by carrying out ATM transfers or procuring ATM cards for the syndicates' use.

Three more suspects were believed to be have carried out acts of loanshark harassment by splashing paint and scrawling loanshark-related graffiti on walls.

Another suspect is believed to have provided false contact information when obtaining loans from loansharks.

The remaining 91 suspects were believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loan sharks to facilitate their unlicensed moneylending businesses.

Investigations are ongoing.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations & Intelligence) and concurrent Director CID Tan Chye Hee said: "Police will take tough enforcement action against those involved in the loansharking business, regardless of their roles, and they will face the full brunt of the law. Police also take a stern view of those who displayed a blatant disregard for the law, and will continue to relentlessly hunt and bring these criminals to justice."

amirh@sph.com.sg