Police arrested 27 men and six women, aged between 19 and 62 years old, in an island-wide operation against unlicensed moneylending activities.
Simultaneous raids were conducted in a 20-hour island-wide operation at various locations in Tampines, Bedok, Circuit Road, Serangoon, Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Batok, Woodlands and Kreta Ayer.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects had opened bank accounts and given away their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN) to loansharking syndicates to facilitate the business of unlicensed moneylending.
Investigations are still on-going.
Commander of Central Police Division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Tan Hung Hooi, commended his officers on their successful operation and continued efforts against the loansharking scourge.
He added: "The Police take a serious view of individuals who allow their bank accounts to be used by the loansharks or assist in the business of the loansharks in any way. We will continue to clamp down on unlicensed moneylending activities and will not hesitate to take action against those involved."
Under the Moneylenders Act 2008, where a bank account or automated teller machine (ATM) card of any person is proved to the satisfaction of the court, to have been used to facilitate the carrying on of the business of moneylending by an unlicensed moneylender, that person is presumed until the contrary is proven, to have assisted in the carrying on of the business of an unlicensed moneylender.
The first-time offenders found guilty of assisting in the carrying on of the business of an unlicensed moneylender, may be fined from $30,000 to $300,000, and be imprisoned for a term of up to four years. First time offenders shall also be liable to be punished with caning of up to six strokes.