Three men arrested for suspected involvement in loansharking activities

Mobile phone, pair of gloves, marker pen, four bicycle locks seized after arrest on Tuesday of 42-year-old man who is suspected of harassing debtors for a loanshark syndicate. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
Mobile phone, pair of gloves, marker pen, four bicycle locks seized after arrest on Tuesday of 42-year-old man who is suspected of harassing debtors for a loanshark syndicate. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - Three men were nabbed this week for helping loanshark syndicates, the police said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, police officers arrested a 42-year-old man near Tiong Bahru Road, who had allegedly helped loanshark syndicates to harass debtors by splashing paint on their doors, padlocking the main gates with bicycle locks and scribbling loanshark-related graffiti on the walls.

He is believed to have been a debtor himself, and preliminary investigations suggest that he also harassed people in housing estates in Woodlands, Tampines, Haig Road, Tanglin Halt Road, Toa Payoh and Jalan Bukit Merah.

Officers also picked up two men, aged 47 and 54, on Wednesday morning in a separate case. Both are believed to have been debtors who assisted loanshark syndicates by opening bank accounts and giving their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers to the syndicates. Investigations are ongoing.

The man in the first case was found with a mobile phone, a pair of gloves, a marker pen and four bicycle locks, which were seized by the police.

Under the revised Moneylenders Act 2010, first-time offenders found guilty of unlicensed moneylending or assisting in the business of unlicensed moneylending face a fine of up to $300,000, a jail term of up to four years and a maximum of six strokes of the cane.

First-time offenders found guilty of loanshark harassment can be jailed for up to five years, fined up to $50,000, and receive up to six strokes of the cane.