252 people arrested in 16-day operation for various offences, from cheating to loan-sharking

SINGAPORE - A total of 252 people have been arrested for various offences during a 16-day enforcement operation led by the Bedok Police Division.

Most of the suspects were arrested for offences related to cheating and loan-sharking, while a small number were hauled up for drug offences and other crimes.

The suspects, aged between 16 and 76, comprise 186 men and 66 women.

The operation took place from Nov 23 to Dec 8, said the police in a statement on Monday (Dec 14).

Of the 252, 50 men and 19 women are being investigated for their suspected involvement in e-commerce scams and money-laundering activities, with the value of these transactions exceeding $1.5 million.

Another 129 men and 45 women, aged between 18 and 76, are being investigated for loan scams and loan-shark activities involving transactions of over $216,000.

Among these, 11 men and eight women, aged between 20 and 61, were arrested for offences under the Moneylenders Act.

The offence of cheating carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine, while money laundering is punishable with a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $500,000.

First-time offenders found guilty of assisting in unlicensed money lending can be fined between $30,000 and $300,000, and jailed up to four years, with mandatory caning of up to six strokes.

Repeat offenders are liable for the same fine but an increased jail term of up to seven years and mandatory caning of up to 12 strokes.

The police said with support from Central Narcotics Bureau officers, another four men and two women, aged between 16 and 59, were arrested for drug-related offences.

Also nabbed were three other men, aged between 24 and 42, for offences including criminal intimidation and theft.

The police said that all investigations are ongoing.

The police emphasised the commitment of their officers to continue to work hard during the year-end festive period.

"This operation reflects a commitment by Bedok Police Division to hold those who break our laws accountable, and to protect our residents from harm," said the division's commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police Julius Lim.

"I would like to pay tribute to the intelligence community, the Central Narcotics Bureau, and dozens of investigators who worked tirelessly, under difficult conditions, to bring the offenders to justice," he said.

"These officers care deeply about the safety and security of their neighbourhoods, and will continue to do their best to keep you safe during this year-end period."

The police added that they will continue to take tough enforcement action against those involved in scams and unlicensed money lending activities.

This includes taking action against those who open or give away their bank accounts to help unlicensed moneylenders.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit this website or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688.

If members of the public suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in unlicensed money lending activities, they can call the police on '999' or the X-Ah Long hotline on 1800-924-5664.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.