Man arrested for suspected involvement in more than 20 loanshark harassment cases

A 24-year old man has been arrested in connection with a series of island-wide loanshark harassment cases, which include setting fire to units.

Preliminary investigations indicate he is allegedly responsible for more than 20 such cases, in areas such as Boon Keng, Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Hougang, Sengkang, Punggol, Tampines, Woodlands and Bukit Batok. Six of the cases involved setting fire at the debtors' units.

The police said they received reports of loanshark harassment involving fire since mid-last month. On Tuesday, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested the suspect at Fajar Road.

Loanshark-related paraphernalia in the form of handphones, ATM cards, a marker and stacks of bank transaction slips and statements were seized as case exhibits.

Under the Moneylenders Act, first-time offenders found guilty of committing loanshark harassment can be jailed up to five years, fined between $5,000 and $50,000, and given at least three strokes of the cane.

Head of the Unlicensed Moneylending Strikeforce from the Criminal Investigation Department, Superintendent of Police Aileen Yap said: "Police have zero tolerance towards loanshark harassment, especially those that threaten the safety of the public and cause damage to public property. No effort will be spared to nab them to face the full consequences of their misdeeds."