114 arrested in latest anti-loansharking operation

114 arrested in latest anti-loansharking operation
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A total of 114 people were arrested on Wednesday (Mar 29) for their suspected involvement in loansharking activities, said a police statement on Thursday.

The three-day islandwide police operation involved simultaneous raids at multiple locations around Singapore, which resulted in the arrest of 83 men and 31 women, aged between 17 and 67.

Among those nabbed, 23 suspects are believed to be runners who had assisted loansharks in their businesses by making Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transfers and collecting debts in person.

The remaining 89 suspects are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loansharks to facilitate their illegal businesses.

First-time offenders found guilty of continuing or assisting with the business of unlicensed moneylending may be fined between $30,000 and $300,000, be jailed for up to four years and may also face 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 may be jailed up for up to five years, be fined between $5,000 and $50,000, and may also face at least three strokes of the cane.

Those guilty of providing false contact information to obtain loans from loansharks may also be imprisoned for up to a year.

Police investigations are ongoing.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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