The Police have arrested one male Singaporean and two male Indian nationals, aged between 33 to 38, for their suspected involvement in carrying on a business of unlicensed moneylending.
In February 2019, the Police received information that several men were believed to be involved in unlicensed moneylending and had issued loans to foreign workers of a company. After establishing the identities of the men, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and Jurong Police Division conducted an operation on 5 March 2019 and arrested them in the vicinity of Tuas. During the operation, cash amounting to about $58,400, two mobile phones and two computers were seized.
The male Singaporean and one of the Indian nationals, aged 38 and 34 respectively, will be charged in court on 6 March 2019 under the Moneylenders Act (Revised Edition 2010). Investigations are ongoing against the other Indian national. Under the Moneylenders Act (Revised Edition 2010), anyone found guilty of carrying on or assisting in 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. Foreign workers, including foreign domestic workers, who have assisted or borrowed money from unlicensed moneylenders may also be repatriated and barred from working in Singapore.
The Police have observed that foreign workers, including foreign domestic workers, are increasingly borrowing money from unlicensed moneylenders. In some instances, these foreign workers would assist unlicensed moneylenders in their illegal activities or be running the operation themselves. The Police have engaged relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Manpower as well as foreign domestic worker help agencies, e.g. Centre for Domestic Employee (CDE) and Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST), to educate foreign workers against borrowing from unlicensed moneylenders. The Police will continue to work closely with the relevant stakeholders to intensify our outreach efforts, and will also reach out to employment agencies and foreign workers to warn them of the severe consequences of getting involved in unlicensed moneylending activities.
The Police would also like to urge employers of foreign workers to remind them to stay away from unlicensed moneylenders and not work with or assist the unlicensed moneylenders 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 unlicensed moneylending activities
Source: Singapore Police Force