Three men arrested for suspected loanshark activities

Police have arrested three men aged between 19 and 33 years for suspected involvement in loansharking activities in two separate cases.

In the first case, Ang Mo Kio Police Division officers were on their rounds in the vicinity of Hougang Street 61 when they spotted two suspects, aged 19 and 20 years, behaving suspiciously.

The officers conducted a check on them and found loanshark-related paraphernalia such as ATM cards, bank transaction receipts, cash amounting to more than $1,300 and mobile phones containing suspected debtors' records on them which were seized as case exhibits.

Preliminary investigations indicated that the two suspects had assisted loansharks in their moneylending businesses by verifying the particulars of potential customers before issuing loans to them and carrying out electronic fund transactions via ATMs.

Investigations against the suspects are still on-going.

In the second case, officers were alerted to loanshark harassment where the door of a unit along Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 was splashed with paint.

Loanshark-related graffiti was also found on the wall.

When officers arrived on the scene, the suspect was no longer there.

Through follow-up investigations, the identity of the suspect, a 33-year-old man, was established and he was arrested at night on the same day.

Preliminary investigations indicated that the suspect is a debtor-turned-runner who committed several cases of loanshark harassment in the Ang Mo Kio housing estate, similar to the one found.

The suspect will be charged in court on May 6, 2012 for loanshark harassment.

First time offenders found guilty of loanshark harassment shall be fined between $5,000 and $50,000, face mandatory imprisonment of up to five years and mandatory caning of up to six strokes.

First-time offenders found guilty of assisting in the carrying on of the business of an unlicensed moneylender may be fined between $30,000 and $300,000, be imprisoned for up to four years and may also receive caning of not more than six strokes.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

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