Rise of loan sharks sparks wave of violent crime in Singapore

By Ben Bland from The Telegraph:

The number of people arrested for loan shark activities and harassment doubled to more than 417 in the first half of 2009, with more than 9,000 reported cases of loan shark lending or intimidation reported to the Singapore Police Force.

Contraband smuggling has also hit a six-year high, with an 80 per cent increase in the number of weapons brought into Singapore illegally, including the knuckle-dusters, replica guns and knives that are often carried by loan shark gangs.

The heightened level of violence is a major concern for the government, particularly because of the growing involvement of teenagers in loan shark gangs. One in five of those arrested for loanshark offences between January and June were under 19.

Read the full article on The Telegraph.

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