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Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Singapore

3 arrested for loansharking activities

AsiaOne | Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested three men, aged between 17 and 27, for their involvement in loansharking activities in two separate cases.

In the first case, a victim reported to the police on Sep 19 that the main gate of her residence at Block 518 Woodlands Drive 14 was padlocked with a bicycle lock and there was loanshark related graffiti scribbled on the wall.

Through extensive probes and with the assistance of police cameras and other CCTVs mounted in the vicinity, officers arrested two male suspects, aged 17 and 18 on Sep 29 near Block 104 Jalan Bukit Merah.

Preliminary investigations revealed that both suspects are believed to be assisting loanshark syndicates to carry out loansharking harassments for the purpose of earning extra revenue.

Upon their arrest, one mobile phone, two bags and the attire worn by the suspects were seized.

In the second case, police officers arrested a 27-year-old man, who is suspected to be involved in loansharking activities, near Block 678 Woodlands Ave 6 during an anti-crime patrol.

Investigations revealed that he is a debtor-turned-runner, who assisted loanshark sydnicates to procure ATM cards with PINs from other debtors and used them to perform ATM transactions related to unlicensed moneylending businesses.

Upon his arrest, 10 ATM cards, two mobile phones and cash amounting to $1,810 were seized.

The three suspects will be charged in court tomorrow. Under the Moneylenders Act, first time offenders found guilty of assisting in the business of an unlicensed moneylender may be fined between $30,000 and $300,000, imprisoned for up to four years, and shall also be liable to caning of up to six strokes.

First time offenders found guilty of loanshark harassment will face a jail term of up to five years, a fine of between $5,000 and $50,000, and between three and six strokes of the cane

klim@sph.com.sg

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