The Police have arrested a total of 109 men and 31 women, for their suspected involvement in various criminal offences over the past three days.
In the first operation between 29 and 30 August 2017, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the six Police Divisions conducted multiple raids at various locations islandwide. A total of 43 wanted persons, comprising 37 men and 6 women, were arrested for various offences including rioting, outraging of modesty, cheating, criminal breach of trust, theft, as well as drug-related offences.
In a separate three-day operation that ended on 30 August 2017, officers from CID worked with the six Police divisions and arrested a total of 72 men and 25 women, for their suspected involvement in loansharking activities. Preliminary investigations revealed that 13 suspects are believed to be runners who had carried out Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transfers and collecting debts in person, while three suspects are believed to have carried out acts of loanshark harassment by splashing paint and scrawling loanshark-related graffiti on walls. The remaining 81 suspects are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) 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 carrying on a 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 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 5 years, a fine of between $5,000 and $50,000, and shall also be liable to caning of between 3 and 6 strokes.
Members of the public are advised to stay away from loansharks and not to work with or assist the loansharks 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.
The Police will continue to take tough enforcement action against those involved in illegal activities. We will continue with our efforts to hunt down criminals who remain on the run and will spare no efforts to bring them to justice. The Police will also 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 includes taking action against those who open or give away their bank accounts to aid unlicensed moneylenders.
Source: Singapore Police Force