Three men aged between 33 and 38 were arrested in Singapore on Tuesday for suspected involvement in loan-shark activities in Tuas, a planning area in the city-state’s West Region. Two of them appeared in court on Wednesday for mention.
A 37-year-old Singaporean and a 33-year-old Indian were charged with jointly violating the Moneylenders Act, the Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore) reported.
Meanwhile, investigations against the third suspect, who was reportedly an Indian migrant worker, were still ongoing.
Last month, Singapore police received a complaint that the three suspects had been preying on a number of migrant workers of a company and offering them illegal loans.
After identifying the alleged loan sharks, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and Jurong Police Division on Tuesday arrested the trio in Tuas.
Around S$58,400 (US$43,000) in cash, two mobile phones and two laptops were confiscated from the men as evidence.
The court heard that on one occasion last August, the Indian suspect appeared on Gul Road in Tuas and offered to lend a man S$500, charging him 20% interest.
According to Singapore police, foreign workers, including domestic workers, have been increasingly borrowing money from unlicensed moneylenders. In some instances, these foreign workers would assist unlicensed moneylenders in their illegal activities or even run such operations themselves.
The judge set the two suspects’ next appearance for next Tuesday, before which they would be detained by police to assist in their investigation.