Four arrested for suspected loansharking activities

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested four men between 22 and 57 years of age, for their suspected involvement in loansharking activities in four separate cases.

On September 16 at about 10.30 pm, while performing anti-crime patrol, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division arrested a 22 year-old suspect in the vicinity of Hougang Central.

Upon his arrest, loanshark-related paraphernalia such as ATM cards, mobile phones and cash amounting to about $1,600 were seized. The suspect is believed to have assisted the loanshark syndicate by performing electronic fund transactions via ATM.

In the second case, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division arrested a 37-year-old suspect in the vicinity of Ang Mo Kio Ave 9 on September 17 at about 12.40 pm. Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect is a debtor-turned-runner who assisted loansharks by performing electronic fund transactions using his personal bank account. Police seized an ATM card in his possession.

On the same day at about 2.25 pm, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division arrested a 57-year-old suspect in the vicinity of Hougang Ave 9.

The suspect is a debtor who had used his brother’s residential address to obtain illegal loans from loansharks. This resulted in the brother’s residence being harassed by loansharks. Further investigation revealed that the suspect had failed to report the change of his address within 28 days.

In the fourth case, officers from the Clementi Police Division were conducting patrols in the vicinity of Clementi Avenue 3 on September 16 at 11pm when they spotted a man behaving suspiciously.

The man was found to be in possession of three ATM cards, two mobile phones, several bank transaction receipts and $950 in cash.

The 31-year-old suspect was arrested for suspected involvement in loansharking activities. Preliminary investigations revealed that the man is a debtor-turned-runner and he is believed to have assisted loansharks in their business by conducting bank transfers.

He will be charged in Court on September 18. Investigations against the other three suspects are on-going.

First-time offenders found guilty of assisting in the business of an unlicensed moneylender, face a fine of between $30,000 and $300,000, a jail term not exceeding four years, and caning of not more than six strokes.

Any person who is guilty of providing false contact information to obtain loans from loansharks may be jailed for a term not exceeding 12 months.

Any person who is guilty of an offence of failing to report a change of address may be fined up to $5,000 or face a jail term of up to 5 years, or both.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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