'Auntie' loan shark runner suspect arrested

A photograph of the suspect was put up by police earlier on Facebook, which showed a woman carrying a handbag, dressed in shorts and slippers, and speaking on her mobile phone.
A photograph of the suspect was put up by police earlier on Facebook, which showed a woman carrying a handbag, dressed in shorts and slippers, and speaking on her mobile phone.PHOTO: SENGKANG NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICE CENTRE/ FACEBOOK

A 62-year-old woman was arrested by the police on Wednesday for her suspected involvement in a case of loan shark harassment.

The police said they received a report of loan shark harassment on Oct 4, in which a debtor note was pasted on the main gate of a residential unit in Fernvale Street and the gate was locked with a bicycle lock.

Sengkang Neighbourhood Police Centre put up a Facebook post on Monday appealing for information about the case. A photograph of the suspect was also included in the post, which showed a woman smiling and speaking on her mobile phone while carrying a handbag and dressed in shorts and slippers.

This led to some netizens dubbing her the "auntie" loan shark runner.

Officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division investigated the matter and were able to identify the suspect with the help of closed-circuit television cameras and police cameras. They subsequently arrested her on Wednesday.

She is expected to be charged in court today.

Those found guilty of loan shark harassment can be fined between $5,000 and $50,000, if they are first-time offenders.

If convicted, they can also be jailed for up to five years and be caned up to six strokes. Those exempted from caning, such as women, may face other penalties in lieu of caning, such as serving additional jail time.

In a statement, the police said they have "zero tolerance" for loan shark harassment activities.

"Those who deliberately vandalise properties, cause annoyance and disruptions to public safety, peace and security will be arrested and dealt with severely in accordance with the law," the police added.

The police advised members of the public to stay away from loan sharks, and refrain from working with or assisting loan sharks in any way.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2018, with the headline ''Auntie' loan shark runner suspect arrested'. Print Edition | Subscribe