SINGAPORE - In a nine-hour island-wide operation, police arrested 11 men aged between 27 and 55 for their suspected involvement in an unlicensed money-lending syndicate with operations spanning beyond Singapore.
The operation started yesterday and ended in the early morning of October 10.
Following investigations and intelligence probes, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Police Intelligence Department (PID) conducted simultaneous raids at several locations in Jurong, Woodlands, Pipit Road, Jalan Bukit Merah, Ang Mo Kio, Tampines Redhill Close and Jelapang Road.
An assortment of unlicensed money-lending paraphernalia such as mobile phones, prepaid Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards, laptops, a thumb drive, stacks of ATM receipts, a few sticks of crayons, a plastic bottle containing black paint and cash amounting to about $8,920 were seized during the operation.
The suspects are believed to be members of an unlicensed money-lending syndicate which operated locally and overseas.
The syndicate is believed to be linked to more than 580 harassment cases in Singapore since 2009.
Eight of the suspects will be charged in Court on October 11 under the Moneylenders Act.
Investigations against the remaining suspects are ongoing.
If found guilty, they may be fined up to $300,000 each, with mandatory imprisonment term of up to four years. They will also be liable to caning of up to six strokes.
The Police said that Singapore has zero tolerance for unlicensed money-lending activities resulting in harassment acts that threaten the safety and security of the community.
"Police will spare no effort to clamp down on unlicensed moneylending syndicates and to ensure that those involved in such illegal activities are made to bear the full brunt of the law," it said in a statement.