7 men arrested for suspected involvement in loansharking activities

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested seven men, aged between 26 and 41 years, for their suspected involvement in loansharking activities that involve assisting an unlicensed moneylending syndicate.

They were arrested on Sept 22 by officers from Central Division.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the men are believed to be debtors-turned-runners and had assisted an unlicensed moneylending syndicate to procure Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards with Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) to facilitate unlicensed moneylending businesses.

Investigations are ongoing.

First-time offenders found guilty of assisting in the business of unlicensed moneylending may be fined between $30,000 and $300,000, be imprisoned for a term of up to four years and shall also be liable to be punished with caning of up to six strokes.

First-time offenders found guilty of acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, committing or attempting to commit any acts of 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 caning of between three and six strokes.

Any person who is guilty of providing false contact information to obtain loans from loansharks shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of up to 12 months. Under the National Registration Act, any person who is guilty of an offence of failing to report a change of address shall be liable on conviction to a fine of up to $5,000, or to imprisonment for a term of up to five years, or to both.

The Police advise the public to stay away from loansharks and not to assist the loansharks in any way. You can call '999' for urgent Police assistance, or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800 924 5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in loansharking activities.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

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