6 arrested for unlicensed moneylending activities

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested six people for being involved in five cases of unlicensed moneylending related activites between Aug 13 and 14.

A 49-year-old man was arrested by officers from Bedok Police Division in the vicinity of Ang Mo Kio Ave 4. He is believed to have carried out acts of harassment in Tampines Street 34 by splashing paint at debtors' units and scrawling loanshark-related graffiti on the walls.

Two handphones with debtors' records and three black markers were seized from his possession. He will charged in court on Aug 15.

In the second case, a 41-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were arrested at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 2 by Community Policing Officers on anti-crime patrol. Both suspects are believed to have assisted loanshark syndicates in distributing flyers which promoted their moneylending business.

A stack of flyers and one handphone were seized as case exhibits. Investigations are currently on-going.

In the third case, a 32-year-old man was arrested in the vicinity of Block 25 Sin Ming Road by officers from Tanglin Police Division.

He was found with a container of green paint in his possession. A search in his vehicle later revealed seven bicycle locks, six markers and three tins of paint.

An 18-year-old man was arrested in another case of loanshark harassment activity the area of Hougang Avenue 5. He was found to have committed loanshark-related graffit on walls of HDB blocks.

Both men will be charged in court on Aug 15.

In the last case, a 59-year-old man was arrested by officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division around Woodlands Checkpoint. He is believed to have given away his ATM card and Personal Identification Number (PIN) to facilitate loanshark syndicates in their unlicensed moneylending.

He also assisted them by carrying out illegal funds transfers via Automated Teller Machine (ATM).

Investigations against him are currently on-going.

Under the Moneylenders Act (Revised Edition 2010), first time offenders found guilty of loanshark harassment shall be fined up to $50,000 with a jail term up to 5 years and up to 6 strokes of the cane.

First time offenders found guilty of assisting in the carrying on of the business of an unlicensed moneylender, may be fined up to $300,000, and face a jail term up to four years and shall also be liable to six strokes of the cane.

wjeanne@sph.com.sg