Police arrest 18 for loansharking activities in 3-day islandwide operation

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested 18 suspects who are believed to be involved in loansharking activities.

Between March 17 and 19, police officers conducted a three-day islandwide operation covering Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang, Ang Mo Kio, Woodlands, Kallang, Jurong West and Bendemeer housing estates.

The operation led to the arrest of 11 men and seven women, aged between 24 and 49.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the 18 suspects are believed to be debtors-turned-assistors, who have opened bank accounts and given their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards as well as the Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loanshark syndicates for their unlicensed moneylending businesses.

Investigations against the suspects are still ongoing.

Under the Moneylenders Act, first-time offenders found guilty of carrying on the business as an unlicensed moneylender or assisting in the business of unlicensed moneylending may be fined between $30,000 and $300,000, jailed for up to four years and might also face up to six strokes of the cane.