Published: 15 August 2016
Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs for each of the past five years, what has been (i) the number of loan shark harassment cases reported (ii) the number of offenders who have been arrested for offences relating to loan shark harassment and illegal money lending activities and charged in court and (iii) the number of offenders who have been sentenced to imprisonment and caning respectively.
1. UML-related cases registered a 10-year low in 2015.
2. There were 4,862 UML cases reported in 2015. These include UML harassment cases, as well as other UML-related cases, for instance, carrying on or assisting in a UML business. This was a 25.8% reduction when compared to 2014. The number of cases has come down substantially, to about a quarter of the cases reported at the peak in 2009 when there were 18,649 cases.
3. The number of persons arrested for UML related cases decreased by 8.6% from 1,643 persons in 2014 to 1,501 persons in 2015. This is a decline from the 1,981 arrests in 2011.
4. In the period from 2011 to 2015, a total of 2,845 persons were sentenced to imprisonment and caning by the Courts.
5. Under the Moneylenders Act, an individual who acts as a UML, or assists the UML to conduct his business, shall be sentenced on conviction to a fine of up to $300,000, 7 years imprisonment, and 12 strokes of the cane. An individual who commits UML harassment shall be sentenced on conviction to a fine of up to $60,000, 9 years imprisonment, and 18 strokes of the cane.
6. Police will continue to take a tough approach and clamp down on all manner of UML activities.