Teenager arrested for loan shark harassment

The charred remains after a fire razed a flat on the seventh storey of Block 318 Woodlands Street 31 at about 3.30am on March 6, 2016.
The charred remains after a fire razed a flat on the seventh storey of Block 318 Woodlands Street 31 at about 3.30am on March 6, 2016. PHOTO: SHIN MIN

SINGAPORE - A 19-year-old was arrested on Thursday for allegedly setting fire to the flat of a loan shark's debtor.

He was believed to have started a fire at a unit at Woodlands Street 31 on March 6.

Police said preliminary investigations also indicated that the youth was responsible for a similar case at Woodlands Circle on March 12.

He will be charged in court today with loan shark harassment.

Under the Moneylenders Act, first-time offenders found guilty of acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, committing or attempting to commit any acts of harassment can be jailed up to five years, fined between $5,000 and $50,000, and caned between three and six strokes.

Director of the Criminal Investigation Department Tan Chye Hee said: "Police have zero tolerance for such lawless acts of loan shark harassment involving fire which threaten the community's sense of safety. Those inclined to commit these acts of harassment causing damage and endangering lives of innocent victims will be pursued and dealt with severely in accordance with the law."