121 arrested in two anti-loansharking operations, $106,000 seized

A total of 87 men and 34 women were arrested for their suspected involvement in loansharking activities in a three-day operation that ended on Feb 28 .

The police said in a statement that officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the six Police Land Divisions conducted simultaneous raids at multiple locations in Singapore, resulting in the arrests of 74 men and 32 women.

Preliminary investigations revealed that 15 suspects are believed to be runners who had carried out Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions on behalf of loansharks and procured ATM cards for syndicates' usage.

Another five suspects are believed to have registered mobile lines for the loansharks, while two are believed to have carried out acts of loanshark harassment by splashing paint and scrawling loanshark-related graffiti on walls.

One suspect is believed to have provided false contact information for the purpose of obtaining a loan.

The remaining 83 suspects are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loansharks to facilitate their unlicensed moneylending businesses.

In a separate operation conducted on Feb 28, officers from CID conducted raids at various locations islandwide, resulting in the arrests of 13 men and two women.

During the operation, cash amounting to about $106,000 and other items including mobile phones, ATM cards and Internet banking dongles were seized as case exhibits.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects are believed to be members with various roles in a loansharking syndicate.

The police advise members of the public to stay away from loansharks and not to work with or assist the loansharks in any way.

The public can call the police at 999 or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in illegal loansharking activities.

The police said they will take tough enforcement action against those involved in the loansharking business, regardless of their roles, and they will face the full brunt of the law.

This would include taking action against those who open or give away their bank accounts to unlicensed moneylenders.