Loan sharks using food delivery services to harass debtors, police warn

Loan sharks using food delivery services to harass debtors, police warn

Grab delivery cyclists ride past each other in Singapore on Apr 20, 2020
Grab delivery cyclists ride past each other in Singapore on Apr 20, 2020, as the number of food deliveries has surged since restrictions were put in place to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Unlicensed moneylenders have increasingly been making use of food delivery services to harass debtors, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in an advisory on Wednesday (Apr 22).

“The unlicensed moneylenders would order large quantities of food or make multiple orders on the same day, and arrange for the food to be delivered to the debtors’ homes, often late at night,” police said, adding that food was sometimes delivered to debtors’ relatives.

“The food deliveryman would then request payment from the debtors or the recipients of the food items.”

As part of the “circuit-breaker” measures implemented to limit the spread of COVID-19, restaurants and eateries have been forced to halt their dine-in services, with many relying on food delivery services to continue their operations.

READ: COVID-19: Food delivery platforms see a spike in rider signups following start of circuit breaker

READ: As COVID-19 hits F&B sector, calls emerge for delivery apps to lower commission fees

Due to the latest loanshark harassment tactic, many food and beverage operators using food delivery services have suffered losses, police said, adding that investigations are ongoing.

“The Police have zero tolerance for loanshark harassment activities,” said SPF. 

“Those who deliberately cause annoyance and disruption to public sense of safety, peace and security will be arrested and dealt with severely in accordance with the law.”

Source: CNA/ec(ac)

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