Seven arrested for loansharking activities

SINGAPORE: Police have arrested seven young people, aged between 15 and 27, for suspected involvement in loansharking activities.

The first case took place on March 13 at about 12.35 pm. Officers from Central Police Division responded to a case of loanshark harassment in the vicinity of Jalan Bukit Merah estate.

The suspects were no longer at scene when Police arrived.

Undeterred, the officers carried out an extensive search.

Through good ground coordination and protracted follow—up actions by the officers, a 15—year—old female suspect was detained in the vicinity of Jalan Bukit Merah.

The identities of her other accomplices were also established.

On the same day, the officers mounted an operation at Jurong housing estate and arrested four other 16—year—old male suspects.

Loanshark—related paraphernalia such as a can of paint, a black marker and four mobile phones believed to contain debtors’ records found on them were seized.

Preliminary investigations indicated that they had carried out loanshark harassment activities in Jalan Bukit Merah, Redhill and Lengkok Bahru housing estates.

Investigations against the five suspects are ongoing.

Under the Moneylenders’ Act 2010 (Revised Edition), first—time offenders found guilty of acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, committing or attempting to commit any acts of harassment be jailed up to five years, fined between S$5,000 and S$50,000, and given three to six strokes of the cane.

In the second case which took place on Wednesday at about 4.20am, officers from Jurong Police Division were on their rounds in the vicinity of Woodlands Drive 75 when they spotted two men aged 26 and 27 respectively behaving suspiciously.

Upon a check, loanshark—related paraphernalia including four cans of paint, two bicycle locks, a marker, a handphone, notebooks containing suspected debtors’ records and a stack of bank transactions receipts were found in their possession.

The two men were arrested for suspected involvement in loansharking activities and the items seized.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects are debtors—turned runners believed to be responsible for several cases of loanshark harassment involving splashing of paint; scrawling loanshark—related graffiti on walls; and locking the main gates of debtors’ residences in Woodlands, Teck Whye and Choa Chu Kang housing estates.

Both suspects will be charged in Court on March 15 with loanshark harassment.

— CNA/fa