140 arrested in police raids islandwide

The police advises members of public to avoid loan sharks.
The police advises members of public to avoid loan sharks. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A total of 109 men and 31 women have been arrested in police raids islandwide over the past three days for their suspected involvement in various criminal offences.

Between Tuesday (Aug 29) and Wednesday, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the six police divisions raided various locations around Singapore, arresting 43 wanted suspects.

The 37 men and six women were wanted for offences such as rioting, outraging of modesty, cheating, criminal breach of trust, theft and drug-related offences. 

Another three-day operation that ended on Wednesday saw 72 men and 25 women arrested for their suspected involvement in loan-sharking activities.

Preliminary investigations showed that 13 of them are allegedly runners who carried out Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transfers and collected debts in person.

 

Three are believed to have committed acts of loan-shark harassment, such as splashing paint and scrawling loanshark-related graffiti on walls.

The remaining 81 are 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 against all the suspects are ongoing.

Under the Moneylenders' Act, when someone's bank account or ATM card is used to facilitate moneylending by an unlicensed moneylender, that person is presumed to have assisted in unlicensed moneylending.

First-time offenders found guilty of carrying on or assisting in the business of unlicensed moneylending may be fined between $30,000 and $300,000, jailed up to four years and caned up to six strokes.

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

The police advises members of public to avoid loan sharks.

If they suspect anyone to be involved in loan-sharking activities, they can call the police at 999 or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664.