79 men and 23 women have been arrested by the police in suspicion of loansharking activities this week in an island-wide three day operation that ended on Wednesday (26 Apr).
The 102 suspects were said to be aged between 21 and 75. Police said most of the suspects, 88 of them, allegedly had opened bank accounts and gave their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loan-sharks to facilitate their unlicensed money-lending businesses. This is illegal under the Moneylenders’ Act.
First-time offenders found guilty of assisting unlicensed money-lending business may be sentenced to jail for maximum a term of four years, fined between S$30,000 and S$300,000, and get up to six strokes of the cane.
The police believed four suspects had committed harassment by splashing paint and scrawling loan shark-related graffiti on walls.
For those found guilty of committing or attempting acts of harassment, they could be punished with a maximum jail term of five years, a fine of between S$5,000 and S$50,000, and get between three and six strokes of the cane.
Two suspects alleged to have provided false contact information when obtaining a loan, and eight suspects were accused to be runners who had helped loan-sharks by carrying out Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transfers, or procuring ATM cards for the syndicates.
End of last month, police had arrested 114 people for suspected loansharking activities.
Police said investigations against all the suspects are ongoing.