142 ARRESTED IN LATEST ANTI-LOANSHARKING BLITZ

The Police have arrested 102 men and 40 women, aged between 17 and 69, for their suspected involvement in loansharking activities in an operation conducted between 13 January 2020 and 15 January 2020.

During the three-day operation, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and the seven Police land divisions conducted simultaneous raids at multiple locations island-wide, resulting in the arrests. Preliminary investigations revealed that one suspect had assisted the loansharks in their business by subscribing to a handphone line, and 30 suspects are believed to be runners who had carried out Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transfers on behalf of loansharks.

The remaining 111 suspects are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers to loansharks to facilitate their unlicensed moneylending businesses. Investigations against all the suspects are ongoing.

Under the Moneylenders' Act (Revised Edition 2010), when a bank account or ATM card of any person is used to facilitate moneylending by an unlicensed moneylender, that person is presumed to have assisted in the carrying on the business of unlicensed moneylending.

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.

The Police will continue to take tough enforcement action against those involved in the loansharking business, regardless of their roles, and they will face the full brunt of the law. This would include taking action against those who open or give away their bank account/s or subscribe handphone lines to aid unlicensed moneylenders.

Members of the public are advised to stay away from loansharks and not to work with or assist them in any way. The public can call the Police at '999' or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in illegal loansharking activities.

Source: Singapore Police Force