4 men arrested for serial loanshark harassment

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested four men for their suspected involvement in a series of loanshark harassment reported in two separate cases.

Between Jan 14 and 15, police received several reports of harassment cases involving fire at the north-eastern areas in Singapore.

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Police Intelligence Department (PID), Jurong Police Division and Ang Mo Kio Police Division worked together to conduct investigations.

The officers received a lead after reviewing CCTV footage which was recovered from the vicinity where the offences reportedly took place.

Three of the suspects were arrested in the area of Hougang Avenue 6 on Jan 15, at around 8pm.

Mobile phones containing debtors' records were seized as case exhibits from the suspects.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the three suspects are believed to be involved in more than nine counts of loanshark harassment cases involving fire that occurred between Jan 14 and 15 at Marsiling, Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio, Serangoon, Rivervale and Anchorvale.

In a separate case, officers from CID arrested a 34-year-old man after receiving a tip-off.

He was arrested on Jan 15 at around 11.15pm in the area of Yishun Avenue 11.

The suspect is believed to be a debtor-turned-harasser, and is said to have splashed paint on debtors' units and scrawled graffiti on staircase wall at housing estates such as Woodlands and Ang Mo Kio.

The suspect was found with loanshark-related paraphernalia such as a marker pen and a mobile phone containing suspected debtors' records. These items were seized as case exhibits.

The four suspects will appear in court on Jan 17.

Under the Moneylenders Act, persons found guilty of committing loanshark harassment shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of up to five years, a fine of between $5,000 and $50,000, and shall also be liable to be punished with between three and six strokes of the cane.