15 arrested for loansharking activities

The police have arrested a total of 15 suspects, on Wednesday (Jan 27), for their alleged involvement in loansharking activities.

The suspects, aged between 22 and 59, were caught during two separate operations.

In the first operation, six suspects were arrested after officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and the Police Intelligence Department conducted simultaneous raids at multiple locations island-wide.

Mobile phones, a laptop, a thumb drive, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards, Internet banking dongles, bank transaction slips and at least $13,870 worth of cash were seized as case exhibits.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects were loan shark runners.

Three of these six suspects will face charges under the Moneylenders Act while investigations continue for the others.

In the second operation, Clementi Police Division officers arrested seven men and two women, aged between 22 and 48, on suspicion of assisting loan shark syndicates.

Preliminary investigations revealed one of the suspects as a runner who had assisted loan sharks to procure bank ATM cards from debtors.

Another suspect was believed to have provided false contact information when obtaining loans from loan sharks. The police said investigations under the National Registration Act will be carried out against the said suspect for failing to report the change of address.

The remaining seven suspects are believed to have opened bank accounts and gave away their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loan sharks in order to facilitate their unlicensed moneylending businesses.

Investigations are ongoing for all the suspects from the second operation.

Members of the public are advised to stay away from loan sharks and not to work with or assist them in any way. The public can call the police at '999' or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800 924 5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in illegal loansharking activities.