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Old 30-03-2019, 12:57 PM   #8436
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 431
103 Arrested in Anti-Loansharking Blitz

The Police have arrested 70 men and 33 women, aged between 16 and 72, for their suspected involvement in loansharking activities in a three-day operation conducted from 25 to 27 March 2019.

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and seven Police land divisions conducted simultaneous raids at multiple locations island-wide, resulting in the arrests. Preliminary investigations revealed that 16 suspects are believed to have carried out Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transfers on behalf of loansharks. Six other 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 to loansharks to facilitate their unlicensed moneylending businesses. Investigations against all the suspects are ongoing.

Opening a bank account, distributing pamphlets, acting as a look-out, being a runner or acting as a harasser for loansharks are criminal activities that have serious consequences, such as a hefty fine, jail term and even caning. The Police will 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.

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 business of unlicensed moneylending.

• First-time offenders 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.

• 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 five years, a fine of between $5,000 and $50,000, and shall also be liable to be punished with caning between three and six strokes.

Loansharks are increasingly sending unsolicited loan advertisements via text messages or online platforms. Members of the public are reminded not to reply or respond to such advertisements, and report the number as spam. 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 loansharking activities.

As long as victims report, SPF will deal with them. Trust the SPF. Don't pay and report.
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