Online adverts and social media lure these youths in by promising fast and easy cash. Youngsters who apply for these employments soon discover that they need to carry out loansharking activities, including badgering of borrowers. A significant number of them, pulled in by the pain free income on offer, still join. Many of them get caught for overstepping the law and wind up doing hard time in jail. Even first-time offenders can face up to five years in prison, a fine and caning.
From January to April last year, there were just 10 arrests. For the same period this year, the number jumped to 61.
Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Mohamad Farhan Anas told The New Paper that a lot of young people are recruited mainly through social media sites. For example, Facebook and online classified sites such as Gumtree. Nature of the job scope is never specified in the recruitment advertisements.
The switch from traditional methods of recruitment such as flyers, to more sophisticated platforms such as social media. With its wider reach this can be one reason for the rise in youth joining the illegal trade.
Loanshark runners are sometimes paid $400 to $500 per job depending on the severity of the methods. These youths are usually have specific instructions by their bosses, especially if it is their first time. They can be instructed to buy kerosene and fluid to set fire to the door. They often record these acts which are later use to harass the debtor living in the flat.
Powerpoint slides are used to help raise awareness among youths to prevent them getting involved in unlicensed moneylending activities. More long-term plans include school talks which will take place after the June school holidays. They will spread awareness through social media as well.
DO NOT borrow from loan sharks as it can spiral out of control. If you need cash, approach a bank or licensed moneylender. You can look through money lender review and moneylender review on money lenders in Singapore and find one that you think may be suitable for your needs.