36 people arrested in police raids against unlicensed moneylending and illegal gambling

During the operation, cash amounting to more than $770,000 and electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones, pre-paid cards and gambling-related documents were seized.
During the operation, cash amounting to more than $770,000 and electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones, pre-paid cards and gambling-related documents were seized.PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - In an islandwide sweep, the police have arrested 35 men and a woman for allegedly running an unlicensed moneylending syndicate and various illegal gambling offences.

The suspects, aged between 26 and 63, were caught in simultaneous raids at multiple locations, including Tampines, Bishan and Bukit Batok, on Tuesday (June 22).

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department, Police Intelligence Department and Special Operations Command conducted the raids.

"During the operation, cash amounting to more than $770,000 and electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones, pre-paid cards and gambling-related documents were seized," the police said on Wednesday.

The bank accounts of the 36 individuals arrested were also frozen.

Ten of the men were charged in court on Wednesday. Six of them each face a charge under the Moneylenders Act. They are Cheng Teck Soon, 63; Ong Ming Yi and Chew Keng Rong, both 29; Ong Ming Ren; Adrian Chew Ming Wei and Yeo Chia Wee, who are 30. 

The remaining four - Koay Xin De, 31; Jason Tan Eng Kiat, 30; Wilfred Yap Wei Chieh and Jason Ong Kiat Seng, both 28 - were each charged under the Remote Gambling Act.

For carrying on or assisting in a business of unlicensed moneylending, first-time offenders can be jailed for up to four years, fined between $30,000 and $300,000 and given up to six strokes of the cane.

Those convicted of assisting in providing unlawful remote gambling services can be fined between $20,000 and $200,000, imprisoned for up to five years, or both. Organising, facilitating or supervising remote gambling carries the same penalties.

The police said they would continue to take tough enforcement action and clamp down on criminal activities, including remote gambling and loansharking.

"Those found engaging in illicit activities will be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law," the police added.