Unlicensed Money Lender (2016 Update)

Unlicensed Money Lender (2016 Update)

Licensed Money lender Singapore - Loanshark activities increasing
Licensed Money lender Singapore – Loanshark activities increasing

The Singapore Police Force has arrested 90 people in connection with unlicensed money lender activities. The suspects consisted of 61 men and 29 women over a period of three days. During simultaneous raids, six separate police divisions carried out the arrests.

Most of the 90 people opened bank accounts to help loan sharks with their illegal money lending activities. Investigators suspect at least one of those arrested was a runner for the loan sharks and transferred funds from ATM machines. Investigations into all of those arrested are still underway.

This is just the latest in a series of arrests. In 2016 alone, there have been several other raids including multiple arrests.

In February, police arrested two men for illegal money lending. One is suspected of extending loans to multiple debtors while the other is accused of harassment, including the drawing of money lending related graffiti on the debtor’s apartment. In the last weeks of February, police arrested a total of 125 people for similar offenses.

In March, authorities arrested three people for illegal money lender activities. Investigators found that two of the four were debtors turned runners. A debtor turned runner is a person that pays off their debts by working for loan sharks. Later in the month, the police arrested an additional 118 people for loan sharking-related offenses, consisting of 39 women and 79 men.

In May, the police arrested 15 people for assisting unlicensed money lenders in a two-day operation. Police also accosted two youths, aged 16 and 18, for setting fire to a Lengkok Bahru apartment. Police later determined that the apartment once belonged to a loan shark debtor.

In June, two major police operations led to the arrest of more than 117 people for more loan sharking offenses. The youngest of these suspects was only 18 years old.

Youngsters involved loan sharking and harassment is indeed an alarming trend. Many suspect that it is easier to lure younger people with the promise of fast cash than those with more life experience. They often may find advertisements on Facebook and other social media sites offering high paying job opportunities. They then apply for these jobs without understanding what they are getting themselves into.

The advertisements are very vague stating only that it is for a part time job. Only after calling the number in the ad, would an potential applicant learn the true nature of the supposed job opportunity.

A day’s work for interested parties can earn them S$200 or more. The easy cash easily lures the young and the naive.

In the four months ending April 2015, police arrested 10 people for offenses related to unlicensed money lending and harassment. For the same period in 2016, that number jumped six folds to 61 youths. Of those arrested, 61 were youngsters but only a small number were debtors turned runners.

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People should stop borrowing from loansharks!! They cause so much harm to people's lives and society
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