203 people under investigation for alleged involvement in unauthorized money lending, Courts & Crime News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – More than 200 people between the ages of 16 and 71 are under investigation for their alleged involvement in unauthorized money-lending activities, police said on Sunday (October 31st).
This was after officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and the Seven Police Ground Divisions carried out simultaneous raids around the island in a two-week blitz from October 18 through Friday.
According to preliminary investigations, 48 ââof the 203 suspects are loan sharks who have helped make transfers at automatic teller machines (ATM).
11 other suspects are believed to have harassed debtors at their homes.
The remaining 144 suspects are said to have opened bank accounts and provided their ATM cards, personal identification numbers and / or internet banking tokens to unlicensed money lenders to facilitate their business, police said.
Investigations against the 203 suspects are ongoing.
When a person’s bank account, ATM card, or Internet banking token is used to facilitate unlicensed money lending, that person is presumed to have assisted in the unlicensed money lending business, has the police said.
First-time offenders convicted of continuing or helping to lend money without a license can be sentenced to imprisonment for up to four years, a fine of $ 30,000 to $ 300,000, and up to six strokes of the cane.
Those found guilty of committing or attempting to commit acts of harassment on behalf of an unauthorized money lender can be sentenced to imprisonment for up to five years, with a fine of 5,000. $ 50,000 and three to six strokes of the cane.
Police have also warned members of the public not to respond or respond to loan sharks who increasingly use text messaging or online platforms to send unsolicited loan announcements.
Police said the public should instead report these messages as spam.
They added: “Police will continue to take tough enforcement action against those involved in unauthorized money lending ventures, regardless of their role, and will ensure that they face the law. .
“This will include taking action against those who open or cede their bank accounts to help unlicensed pawn shops.”