'Empty' office raided in anti-loansharking operation

The shop appeared empty, its opaque glass doors firmly locked.

Above the door is a dark blue sign with yellow lettering which says: Advance Credit.

The New Paper understands that the company, located on the fifth floor of Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, was one of the many premises raided by officers from the Police Intelligence and Criminal Investigation departments (CID) in a massive 12-hour anti-loansharking operation that ended yesterday morning.

An online check with the Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office, an agency under the Law Ministry, revealed that Advance Credit is one of 235 licensed moneylenders here.

Shopkeepers in nearby units told TNP that they do not know anybody working in the Advance Credit office.

Mr Vincent Lim, 29, who works in a unit next door, claimed that he has never seen anyone enter or exit the office.

"I have worked here for three years and I don't know who works next door," he said.

"I used to hear music coming from the unit, but that stopped about six months ago. The doors are always closed."

A few doors away in a bridal store, a worker, who wanted to be known only as Mr Zad, 27, told this reporter that he spotted three men talking to a man near his shop at around 10.45pm on Wednesday.

"I overheard the trio identify themselves as CID officers before they interviewed the bespectacled man," he said.

"The man they were talking to was in his 20s and he appeared calm."

Mr Zad, too, claimed to have never seen anyone going in or out of the Advance Credit office in the year or more that he has been working nearby.

The moneylending company is believed to be just one of 13 places police officers simultaneously raided in the operation.

Officers arrested 21 men and two women, all Singaporeans between 19 and 43 years old.

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