16-year-old teen nabbed for loanshark harassment within 6 hours

A 16-year-old teenager was charged in court on April 8 for loanshark harassment.

The police said they were alerted to the case at a residential unit along Tampines Street 22 on April 6, at around 6.50pm.

The unit's front gate had been splashed with red paint and the wall of the staircase was scribbled with loanshark-related graffiti.

Through follow-up investigations and with the aid of images from police cameras, officers from Bedok Police Division, Woodlands Police Division and Police Operations Command Centre established the teenager's identity and arrested him within six hours.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the teenager is believed to be involved in other cases of loanshark harassment.

One mobile phone was seized as case exhibit.

First-time offenders found guilty of loanshark harassment face a fine between $5,000 and $50,000, with up to five years in jail and up to six strokes of the cane.

The police said they have zero tolerance against loanshark harassment activities, adding: "Those who deliberately vandalise properties, cause annoyance or disrupt public safety, peace and security will be dealt with severely in accordance with the law."

Members of the public are advised to stay away from loansharks and not to work with or assist them in any way.

Those who suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in loansharking activities can call the police at '999' or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664.