118 arrested for suspected loan shark activities after four-day police operation

Singapore - A total of 79 men and 39 women, aged between 18 and 69, have been arrested for their suspected involvement in loan shark activities.

They were arrested after simultaneous raids at multiple locations islandwide in a four-day anti-loan shark operation by officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and the six land divisions from June 25 to 28.

Initial investigations identified 21 suspects believed to be runners who carried out ATM transfers on behalf of loan sharks.

Six other suspects are believed to have provided false contact information for the purpose of obtaining loans.

Another five suspects are believed to have taken part in harassment on behalf of loan sharks by splashing paint and scrawling loan shark-related messages on walls.

One suspect is believed to have given out loans to borrowers.

The remaining 84 suspects are believed to have set up bank accounts for loan sharks and given away their ATM cards and personal identification numbers to help cover up unlicensed moneylending businesses.

A 22-year-old woman was also arrested on June 28 after police received a report of a packet of black coffee being hung at the main gate of a home in Tampines Central 7 as a form of loan shark harassment.

She is believed to have carried out similar acts of harassment in Marine Parade and Senja Road housing estates.

She will be charged in court on June 30 under the Moneylenders Act.

Under the Act, a person using their bank account or ATM card to facilitate moneylending by an unlicensed moneylender is presumed to have helped in the continuation of the business.

First-time offenders may be fined between $30,000 and $300,000, be jailed for up to four years and can be caned up to six strokes.

First-time offenders found guilty of acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, committing or attempting acts of harassment will be fined between $5,000 and $50,000, be jailed for up to five years and be caned between three and six strokes.

Those guilty of providing false contact information to obtain loans from loan sharks can be jailed for up to 12 months.

Under the National Registration Act, any person guilty of failing to report a change of address can be fined up to $5,000, or be jailed for up to five years, or both.

The public can call the police on 999 or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in loan shark activities.