Man arrested for allegedly lending money to more than 40 maids
A 45-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly lending money to at least 40 domestic workers.
The police said on Wednesday that they were alerted to the man’s suspicious activities on Oct 3, and officers from Woodlands Police Division arrested him three days later.
During the operation, the police seized a mobile phone that was later found to contain records of alleged unlicensed moneylending activities. Two bank accounts belonging to the man have been frozen by the police.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the man had issued loans to at least 40 domestic workers. Further investigations are ongoing.
First-time offenders found guilty of carrying on an unlicensed moneylending business can be fined up to $300,000, jailed up to four years, and receive a maximum of six strokes of the cane.
The police also warned that work pass holders who borrow money from unlicensed moneylenders may have their work passes revoked. They may be repatriated and barred from working in Singapore.
Illegal moneylending activities have become an issue of concern in recent years. In July 2019, The Straits Times reported that 160 maids and foreign workers had been repatriated since October 2018 for borrowing from loan sharks and unlicensed moneylenders, and were barred from working in Singapore.
The police said they will continue to work with partners such as the Ministry of Manpower and Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training, or Fast, to educate domestic workers in Singapore, but added that employers should also advise their maids to be wary of unlicensed moneylenders.
Those who suspect someone of being involved in unlicensed moneylending activities can contact the police or the X-Ah Long hotline on 1800-924-5664.