16 arrested for loanshark activities

SINGAPORE - A total of 15 men and one woman have been arrested for allegedly taking part in loanshark activities, the police said on Wednesday.

On Monday and Tuesday, police arrested 13 men and 1 woman, aged between 24 and 62, during operations in Jurong West, Choa Chu Kang, Punggol, Bukit Batok, Middle Road and Woodlands.

The suspects are believed to be debtors who had registered for bank accounts and given away their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loansharks to facilitate the their illegal business.

Another two men, aged 29 and 55, were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly obtaining ATM cards from debtors to facilitate loanshark syndicates.

Under the Moneylenders Act 2010, first-time offenders found guilty of assisting unlicensed moneylenders may be fined between $30,000 and $300,000. They will also face a jail term of up to four years and can caned up to six strokes.