In a two-day operation that began on July 23, police arrested 16 people for their suspected involvement in loansharking activities.
Officers from the Clementi Police Division detained 12 men and 2 women, aged between 25 and 60.
Police said preliminary investigations indicated that the suspects were debtors-turned-assistors who had opened bank accounts and given away their Automated Teller Machine cards and Personal Identification Numbers to loansharks to facilitate their businesses.
The officers also arrested two other male suspects, aged 49 and 69. They were suspected of providing false contact information when obtaining loans from loansharks, and hence, resulting in the harassment of innocent house owners.
Investigations under the National Registration Act will also be carried out against them for failing to report their change of address.
Under the Moneylenders Act 2010 (Revised Edition), first-time offenders found guilty of assisting in the carrying on of the business of an unlicensed moneylender, may be fined not less than $30,000 and not more than $300,000, be imprisoned for a term not exceeding four years and shall also be liable to be punished with caning of not more than six strokes.
Any person who is guilty of providing false contact information to obtain loans from loansharks shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of up to 12 months. Under the National Registration Act, any person who is guilty of an offence of failing to report a change of address shall be liable on conviction to a fine of up to $5,000, or to imprisonment for a term of up to 5 years, or to both.