27 arrested for involvement in loansharking activities

27 arrested for involvement in loansharking activities

SINGAPORE - 17 men and 10 women were arrested by the police for their suspected involvement in loansharking activities in 3 separate cases.

In the first case, 15 men and 10 women, whose ages range from 19 and 64, were arrested by officers from Jurong Police Division between Nov 11 and 12, from various locations across the island, including Jurong West, Jalan Kayu, Ang Mo Kio, Tampines, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Panjang, Jurong East and Bukit Merah View.

Preliminary investigations indicated that the suspects are debtors-turned-assistors. They 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.

Further investigation showed that two of the male suspects, aged 24 and 60, had also assisted the loanshark syndicates by using their bank accounts to perform banking transactions.

In the second case, Crime Strike Force officers from Woodlands East Neighbourhood Police Centre arrested a 27-year-old male suspect in the vicinity of Woodlands Square on Monday afternoon. He allegedly assisted the loanshark syndicates to collect ATM cards from other debtors.

An ATM card, one handphone and about $50 cash were seized from the suspect in relation to the case.

In the last case, another group of officers from Jurong Police Division arrested a 42-year-old male suspect on Monday evening in the vicinity of Tiong Bahru for assisting the loanshark syndicates to collect ATM cards from other debtors and used them to perform ATM transactions.

Police had seized 4 ATM cards in connection to the case.

The investigations against all the suspects are still on-going.

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.

ellenja@sph.com.sg

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