26 arrested in island-wide blitz targeting loanshark activities

26 arrested in island-wide blitz targeting loanshark activities

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested a total of 26 people for their suspected involvement in loansharking activities in two separate cases.

In the first case, between November 27 and 28, police officers mounted an island-wide operation covering Jurong West, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Panjang, Geylang, Sengkang, Tampines, Chai Chee and Toa Payoh public housing estates.

The operation resulted in the arrest of 21 men and four women, aged between 18 and 71, for assisting the loanshark syndicates.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the suspects are debtors-turned-runners who are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loansharks to facilitate their businesses.

Investigations also reveal that three of the suspects also assisted the loanshark syndicates to perform ATM fund transactions.

In the second case, acting on a tip-off, police officers arrested a 40-year-old man at Segar Road on November 28 at about 1.30am.

He is believed to have been assisting the loanshark syndicates by collecting repayment from a debtor.

Investigations against the 26 suspects are ongoing. Under the law, first-time offenders found guilty of carrying on the business as an unlicensed moneylender or assisting in the business of unlicensed moneylending may be fined not less than $30,000 and not more $300,000.

They can also be imprisoned for a term not exceeding four years and are liable to be punished with caning of not more than six strokes.

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