Nearly 200 people, aged between 16 and 77, have been arrested in an islandwide operation against loan-shark activities.
The operation, which was conducted from Aug 11 to 15, resulted in the arrest of 126 men and 56 women during simultaneous raids at multiple locations.
Preliminary investigations revealed that 165 suspects are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away ATM cards and personal identification numbers to the loan sharks to help them in their criminal activities.
Another 16 are believed to be involved in harassment, or as runners who carry out ATM transfers, verify debtors' particulars and check if their homes have been vandalised.
Another suspect is believed to be a debtor who gave false contact information when obtaining loans from loan sharks.
Investigations against all the suspects are ongoing, police said yesterday.
Under the Moneylenders' Act, when a bank account or ATM card of any person is used to facilitate moneylending by an unlicensed moneylender, that person is presumed to have assisted in the business of unlicensed moneylending.
This article was published on Aug 17 in The Straits Times.
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