Singapore

Police warn of new tactic used by unlicensed moneylenders

He wanted to borrow money from an unlicensed moneylender. 

The 69-year-old man was asked to go to a residential address to collect the loan, and was told to slip his NRIC under the door of the unit. 

When he didn't get any response despite repeatedly knocking on the door, he called the police. 

As it turns out, the address belonged to a 54-year-old debtor who had defaulted on his loan repayments. 

Using prospective borrowers to harass debtors who've defaulted on payments is a new tactic used by unlicensed moneylenders, say police. 

Prospective borrowers who do so may be committing an offence under the Moneylenders Act, and first-time offenders found guilty of loanshark harassment could face up to five years' jail, be fined between $5,000 to $50,000, and between three to six strokes of the cane.  

The 54-year-old debtor arrested after investigations revealed he had assisted illegal money lenders by opening a bank account for their use.

A first time offender found guilty of assisting loansharks in their unlawful activities may be jailed for up to four years and fined between $30,000 to $300,000. 

Police advise members of the public to stay away from unlicensed moneylenders and to not borrow money or assist them in any way.

Anyone with information regarding people involved in illegal moneylending activities can call the X-Ah-Long hotline at 1800-924-5664.

They can also call 999 for urgent police assistance.

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