According to the Moneylenders Act 2010 (Revised Edition), Chapter 188, all moneylenders in Singapore must hold a Moneylender’s Licence from the Registrar of Moneylenders. Operating a money lending business without a license is illegal. Unlicensed moneylenders are basically the “loans harks” who give out illegal loans which often come with exorbitant interest rates.
The Moneylenders Act (Cap 188) prescribes the crime and punishment for conducting loan sharking activities. Both the loan sharks and those who assist the loan sharks in their activities are liable for punishment. Some acts of assistance to the loan sharks include:
- Harassed the debtors through acts like splashing paint, scribbling on walls, setting fire, locking gates, etc.
- Acting as a lookout during harassment
- Provided transport for runners
- Collected debts
- Provided funds for lending or allowing his premises to be used for loan sharking business
- Provided or sold prepaid SIM cards to the loans harks
- Opening bank accounts to facilitate money transfers
- Promoting or advertising loan sharking activities
Punishment for assisting loan sharks:
- First-time offenders – fine between $30,000 and $300,000, jail up to four years, liable to six strokes of the cane
- Repeat offenders – fine between $50,000 and $500,000, jail up to five years, liable to 12 strokes of the cane
Conducting acts of harassment:
- First-time offenders – fine between $5,000 and $50,000, jail up to five years, liable to six strokes of the cane
- Repeat offenders – fine between $6,000 and $60,000, jail up to nine years, liable to 12 strokes of the cane.
And if you need legal representation, kindly contact Gloria James-Civetta & Co here, to get the legal advice you need