102 people arrested for loan shark activities in 3-day operation by CID, police

The 79 men and 23 women arrested were aged between 21 and 75.
The 79 men and 23 women arrested were aged between 21 and 75.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A hundred and two people were arrested for their involvement in loan shark activities in a three-day operation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and six police divisions.

The 79 men and 23 women arrested were aged between 21 and 75, police said in a news release on Thursday (April 27).

Simultaneous raids were held at multiple locations in Singapore during the islandwide operation that ended on Wednesday.

Two suspects had provided false contact information to obtain loans, and eight suspects are believed to be runners assisting loan sharks by carrying out ATM transfers or getting ATM cards for syndicates to use, preliminary investigations have shown.

Four other suspects are believed to have splashed paint and scrawled loan shark-related graffiti on walls.

The bulk of the suspects, 88 of them, are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loan sharks to facilitate unlicensed moneylending businesses.

Investigations against all suspects are ongoing.

Lending your bank account or ATM to facilitate moneylending by an unlicensed moneylender is considered assisting in the business of unlicensed moneylending, under the Moneylenders' Act (Revised Edition 2010).

Those found guilty of carrying on or assisting with the a business of unlicensed moneylending for the first time can be fined between $30,000 and $300,000, jailed up to four years and liable to up to six strokes of the cane.

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

Anyone found guilty of giving false contact information to obtain loans from loan sharks can be jailed for up to 12 months.

The police in their release advised the public to stay away from loan sharks and to avoid working with or assisting them in any way.

Those with information of anyone involved in illegal loan sharking activities are advised to call the police at 999 or to call the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664.