Man nabbed for allegedly offering illegal loans to maids
A man who allegedly offered loans to maids illegally has been arrested.
The 67-year-old was arrested on Sunday for his suspected involvement in unlicensed moneylending, the police said on Tuesday.
A 40-year-old foreign domestic worker (FDW), who is believed to have abetted him in providing remittance services, is also assisting in investigations.
Mobile phones and remittance records were seized.
The arrest was made following information that was provided to the Criminal Investigation Department and the Commercial Affairs Department. The man allegedly issued loans and provided illegal remittance services to FDWs.
In their news release, the police also noted that foreign workers, including FDWs, have increasingly been borrowing money from unlicensed moneylenders.
"In some instances, these foreign workers would assist unlicensed moneylenders in illegal activities or be running the operation themselves," the police said.
"The police have engaged relevant ministries and partners, such as the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Centre for Domestic Employees and Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training to educate foreign workers against borrowing from unlicensed moneylenders."
In July, the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) introduced measures to stem the surge of moneylending to foreigners.
At the time, MinLaw revealed that about 53,000 foreigners, mostly maids, had borrowed from licensed moneylenders in the first half of this year alone.
This was a massive jump from the 7,500 for the whole of 2016. The new measures included a cap on loans to low-income foreigners and prohibiting the advertising of services to FDWs.
The police said on Tuesday that they would continue to work closely with the relevant stakeholders and intensify outreach efforts to warn foreign workers against getting involved in unlicensed moneylending activities.
Anyone found guilty of carrying on or assisting in a business of unlicensed moneylending can be fined at least $30,000 and up to $300,000, and jailed for up to four years. They may also be punished with up to six strokes of the cane.
Foreign workers who have assisted or borrowed money from unlicensed moneylenders may be repatriated and barred from working in Singapore again.