2 men, aged 20 & 21, arrested after 'O$P$' scribbled outside Hougang flat & gate set on fire

The brazen act of loanshark harassment was filmed and eventually appeared online.

Belmont Lay | November 19, 2021, 02:54 AM

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A video that allegedly showed loanshark harassment activities being carried out in broad daylight outside an HDB flat in Hougang was put up on Facebook on Nov. 17.

What video showed

A person in a black hoodie could be seen scribbling “O$P$” and other personal particulars on the wall outside the unit.

Another man in blue was subsequently seen pouring a liquid on the gate of the unit before setting fire to it.

Both of the them then left.

Police made arrests

In response to the video making the rounds online, the Singapore Police Force said on Nov. 17 that they have arrested two man aged 20 and 21, for their suspected involvement in a series of loanshark harassment cases.

The police clarified that the video was not new, and the arrests were carried out on Sep. 24, 2021.

The police were alerted to the incident on Sep. 20.

Details of the arrests

On Sep. 20, the police were alerted to two cases of loanshark harassment along Hougang Avenue 5 and Chai Chee Road where the doors of the residential units were set on fire, with writings found on the walls beside one of the units.

Through investigations and with the aid of images from CCTV and police cameras, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department, Ang Mo Kio Police Division and Bedok Police Division established the identities of the two men and arrested them in the vicinity of Telok Blangah and Sembawang Way respectively, on Sep. 24, 2021.

During the operation, drug paraphernalia was also found and seized from both men.

The men were charged in court on Sep. 25 under the Moneylenders Act.

For first time offenders, the offence of loanshark harassment carries a fine of between S$5,000 to S$50,000, with a mandatory jail term of up to five years, and up to six strokes of the cane.

The police said they have zero tolerance towards loanshark harassment activities.

Those who deliberately vandalise properties, cause annoyance to the public or disrupt public safety, peace, and security, will be dealt with severely in accordance with the law, the police added.

Members of the public are advised to stay away from loansharks and not to work with or assist them in any way, the police said.

The public can call the police at "999" or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in illegal loansharking activities.

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