Man arrested for using old address to borrow from loansharks

A 58-year-old man was arrested on Thursday for suspected involvement in loansharking activities and providing false contact information in obtaining loans from loansharks.

The suspect was arrested in the vicinity of Ang Mo Kio Ave 9 at about 8.25pm on June 14.

Preliminary investigations revealed that he had used his previous residential address to obtain illegal loans from loansharks. Consequently, the current owner and occupants of his previous residence became innocent victims of harassment by the loansharks.

The suspect had also assisted the loansharks in their businesses by performing electronic fund transactions using bank accounts.

Upon his arrest, a handphone containing debtors' records and ATM cards were found in his possession and seized as case exhibits. Investigations also further indicated that the suspect had failed to report the change of his residential address since moving out of his previous place of residence in September 2009.

Police investigations into the case are ongoing.

Under the Moneylenders Act (Revised Edition 2010), first-time offenders found guilty of assisting in the carrying on of the business of an unlicensed moneylender, may be fined not less than $30,000 and not more than $300,000, be imprisoned for a term not exceeding four years and shall also be liable to be punished with caning with not more than six strokes.

Any person who is guilty of providing false contact information to obtain loans from loansharks shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months.

Under the National Registration Act, any person who is guilty of an offence of failing to report a change of address shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both.

Acting Commander of Ang Mo Kio Police Division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Chua Chuan Seng said, "Police take a serious view of offenders who borrow from illegal moneylenders using their old addresses, and as a result cause undue inconvenience and distress to innocent parties.

"Police will spare no efforts in tracking down such offenders and they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law."


ellenja@sph.com.sg

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