SINGAPORE: The police have arrested 131 suspects believed to be involved in loan-sharking activities following a four-day operation conducted from May 7 to 10.
In a news release on Friday (May 11), the police said that 97 men and 34 women, aged between 18 and 79, were arrested after officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and six police divisions conducted simultaneous raids at multiple locations islandwide.
Preliminary investigations revealed that 104 are believed to have facilitated unlicensed moneylending business by opening bank accounts and giving away the ATM cards and personal identification numbers.
Of the other suspects, 20 are believed to be runners who carried out ATM transfers on behalf of loan sharks, while three are suspected of providing false contact information to obtain loans.
Police said that another three allegedly carried out acts of harassment by splashing paint and scrawling graffiti on walls, while the remaining suspect is believed to have given loans to borrowers.
Investigations against all suspects are ongoing, said police.
Those found guilty of facilitating moneylending by an unlicensed moneylender using their bank account or ATM card face a fine of between S$30,000 and S$300,000, and a jail term of up to four years and six strokes of the cane.
Those found guilty of acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, committing or attempting to commit any acts of harassment may be jailed up to five years and receive three to six strokes of the cane, as well as a fine of between S$5,000 and S$50,000.