SINGAPORE - THE number of cases of unlicensed moneylending and related harassment charges plunged in the first half of the year over the same period last year, continuing the downward trend since 2010.
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Speech by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, the Senior Minister of State for Home Affair:
For the six-month period between January and June 2014, there were 3,235 reported cases of unlicensed moneylending (UML) and UML-related harassment. This is 31.6% lower than the 4,729 cases reported in the same period in 2013. The number of reported cases has been declining steadily since 2010.
The improvement in the UML situation can be attributed to the tough laws enacted, strong enforcement efforts against loanshark syndicates and the high level of community support in the fight against UML activities. Another factor is the presence of licensed moneylenders who provide access to credit for borrowers who are unable to obtain credit from banks or financial institutions, and who might otherwise turn to UMLs.
However, there have been cases of loansharks operating under the cover of licensed lenders. Two cases uncovered in recent years have been charged in court and convicted for UML-related offences. Police will continue to work with the relevant agencies to monitor the activities of licensed moneylenders.