3 men arrested for assisting loanshark syndicates

3 men arrested for assisting loanshark syndicates
Case exhibits seized in relation to the first case, where police officers arrested a 42-year-old man for suspected loanshark activities.

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested three men, aged between 42 and 54, who are believed to be involved in two separate cases of loansharking activities.

In the first case, a 42-year-old man was arrested at Tiong Bahru Road yesterday night at 9.30pm, after police received a reported case of loansharking harassment.

Preliminary investigations revealed that he is believed to have committed other cases of loansharking harassment at Woodlands, Tampines, Haig Road, Tanglin Halt Road, Toa Payoh and Jalan Bukit Merah public housing estates.

The suspect is also believed to be a debtor-turned-harasser who assisted the loanshark syndicates to harass the debtors by splashing paint at the main doors of debtors' residences, padlocking the main gates with bicycle locks and scribbling loanshark-related grafitti on the walls.

One mobile phone, a pair of gloves, a marker pen and four bicycle locks were seized upon his arrest.

In the second case, two men, aged 47 and 54, were arrested this morning at 11.30am.

Preliminary investigations also indicated that both men are believed to be debtors-turned-assistor who have opened bank accounts and given away their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loanshark syndicates to facilitate their businesses.

The suspect in the first case will be charged tomrorow, while investigations against the rest of the suspects are ongoing.

Under the Moneylenders Act, 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 between $30,000 and $300,000, jailed for up to four years and shall also be liable to not more than six strokes of the cane.

First time offenders found guilty of loanshark harassment shall be jailed for up to 5 years, fined between $5,000 and $50,000, and shall also be liable to three to six strokes of the cane.

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