The Police have arrested two Filipino women, aged 30 and 42, for their suspected involvement in carrying on the business of unlicensed moneylending.
On 3 September 2019, the Police were alerted to a case of unlicensed moneylending where the suspects were believed to be issuing loans to foreign workers in Singapore. Following the report, officers from the Ang Mo Kio Police Division and Criminal Investigation Department conducted an operation on 17 September 2019 and arrested both women. Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects have been issuing loans to foreign domestic workers residing or working in the vicinity of Punggol and Sengkang housing estates.
Both women will be charged in court on 18 September 2019 for carrying on a business of unlicensed moneylending under the Moneylenders Act (Revised Edition 2010), Chapter 188. If convicted, they shall be punished with a fine of not less than $30,000 and not more than $300,000 and be imprisoned for a term of up to four years.
The Police have observed that foreign workers, including foreign domestic workers, are borrowing money from unlicensed moneylenders. In some instances, these foreign workers would assist the 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 like to remind the public, including foreign workers in Singapore, to stay away from unlicensed moneylenders and not work with or assist the unlicensed moneylenders in any way. 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 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