Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs since 2014, what actions have been taken by the Police in relation to complaints regarding illegal moneylenders advertising for loans via SMS messages or other forms of electronic communication.
- Members of the public who receive unsolicited advertisement from unlicensed moneylenders (“UML”) in the form of SMS messages or other forms of communications should not reply to these messages. Those with information on unlicensed moneylenders can call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or the National Crime Prevention Council’s X Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664. All information given to the Police will be kept confidential.
- The Police take a strong stance against unlicensed moneylending activities and will not hesitate to take swift action against persons found to be engaging in them. Police regularly conduct major operations against UML syndicates to cripple them. From 2014 to Sep 2018, Police have arrested more than 6,900 persons in connection with UML activities.
- We will also continue with public education on unlicensed moneylending. In 2017 and 2018, the 3rd Anti-Unlicensed Moneylending media campaign was conducted. Besides educating the public on the dangers of borrowing from unlicensed moneylenders, this campaign provided advisories on how to deal with unsolicited unlicensed moneylending advertisements.