13-year-old among 107 suspects under investigation for unlicensed money lending links
SINGAPORE – A total of 107 people, aged between 13 and 74, are being investigated for their alleged involvement in unauthorized money lending activities.
Police carried out raids across the island during a five-day anti-unlicensed money lending operation between July 25 and July 29.
In a statement released Tuesday, August 2, police said preliminary investigations revealed that three of the suspects allegedly harassed victims in their homes, while 23 were believed to be runners who helped unlicensed money-lending businesses carry out automatic teller machine (ATM) transfers. or take pictures of debtors’ residences.
A suspect allegedly helped unlicensed lenders by subscribing to mobile lines. Another allegedly provided false contact details to an unlicensed pawnshop, which led to the harassment of an innocent victim.
The other 79 suspects are said to have opened bank accounts and given unlicensed lenders their ATM cards, personal identification numbers and internet banking tokens.
Under the Pawnbrokers Act, when a person’s bank account, ATM card, or Internet banking token is used to facilitate the lending of money without a license, that person is presumed to have contributed to the process.
Investigations against all suspects are ongoing.
Those found guilty of assisting in an unlicensed money lending business can be jailed for up to four years, fined $30,000 to $300,000 and given up to six strokes of the cane.
Those found guilty of committing or attempting to commit acts of harassment on behalf of an unlicensed pawnbroker can be fined $5,000 to $50,000, imprisonment for up to at five years old and to receive between three and six strokes of the cane.
Anyone found guilty of providing false details to obtain loans from unapproved lenders can be jailed for up to 12 months.
Police said: ‘Unlicensed pawnbrokers are increasingly using text messaging or online platforms to send unsolicited loan advertisements. such advertisements and to report such messages as spam.”
The public can call the police at 999 or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who may be involved in unlicensed money lending activities.