On 14 July 2015, a new law was introduced in Parliament. The proposed law, the Organised Crime Bill, would grant authorities more powers in detecting and preventing organised crime activities such as drug trafficking, money laundering and unlicensed moneylending. The law also allows authorities to confiscate the benefits from criminal activities based on a ‘balance of probabilities’, which requires lesser burden of proof than criminal convictions.
This proposed law is a welcomed measure in our ongoing fight against loansharks and unlicensed moneylenders. These illegal criminal activities have always posed a serious threat to the legitimacy of the moneylending industry; it is heartening to know that more measures are being taken by the authorities to combat this issue.
Within the industry, there are also controls in place to prevent the facilitation of such criminal activities. Stringent checks are undertaken before disbursing a loan, in compliance with the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (PMFT) Act. Any suspicious transactions will be reported to the Registrar.
As a general reminder, licensed moneylenders are not allowed to send out messages to solicit the public to take up loans. We advise our readers to ignore such messages, and when in doubt, please contact the relevant authorities or legitimate moneylenders.