12-year-old among 189 suspects investigated for unauthorized money-lending activity, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – A total of 189 people, aged 12 to 78, are being investigated for their involvement in unauthorized money lending activities, including harassment of victims in their homes.

Police raided the entire island in a two-week anti-license money lending operation between November 22 and December 3.

In a statement on Tuesday, December 7, police said preliminary inquiries revealed 16 suspects allegedly harassed victims at their homes, while 37 suspects are believed to be runners who helped unlicensed money lending firms use automatic teller machines (ATM) transfers.

A suspect also allegedly provided false contact information to an unlicensed money lender, leading to the harassment of someone who is not the suspect.

The other 135 suspects are said to have opened bank accounts and given unlicensed lenders their ATM cards, personal identification numbers and internet banking tokens.

Under the Money Lenders Act, when a person’s bank account, ATM card, or Internet banking token is used to facilitate unlicensed lending of money, that person is presumed to have helped the process.

Investigations against all suspects are ongoing.

First-time offenders convicted of assisting in an unlicensed money-lending business can be sentenced to imprisonment for up to four years, fined $ 30,000 to $ 300,000, and up to six strokes of the cane.

First-time offenders found guilty of committing or attempting to commit acts of harassment on behalf of an unauthorized money lender may be fined $ 5,000 to $ 50,000, and imprisonment of up to five years and a caning of three to six blows.

Those found guilty of providing false contact information to obtain loans from unlicensed loan sharks can also be jailed for up to 12 months.

Police said: “Unlicensed money lenders are increasingly using text messaging or online platforms to send unsolicited loan advertisements. Members of the public are reminded not to respond or reply to any requests. such advertisements and report such messages as spam. “

The public can call the police at 999 or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1-800-924-5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who may be involved in unauthorized money lending activity.

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