Loan Shark s now hunting in schools(little red dot)
Loan sharks are now lurking in some schools here,launching coordinated recruitment efforts that have seen some 100 students approached since last month.
Last week,the police,in a two-day islandwide operation,arrested 85 students and four adults.
They distributed name cards and pamphlets advertising illegal moneylending services.
Among the students arrested,60 were under the age of 16.The group included two 12-year-old primary school pupils.
Yesterday,a police spokesman said that that case highlights a worrying trend of loan shark syndicates infiltrating schools and recruiting students to work for them.
Investigations show that the recruitment activity of the loan sharks was widespread.They recruited students to distribute fliers through word of mouth and also by posting advertisements online,such as on classified ads website Gumtree.
The two primary pupils are believed to have responded to online jobs.
Straight times understood that some of the primary school students were even recruited.
Giving more details of the arrests,the police said that last Tuesday,Bedok Police Division was contacted by a "school authority"after the school suspected that some of its students were involved in distributing loan shark-related name cards and fliers.
Straight Times understood that recruitment efforts started last month during the school holidays.
The police said some of the young people were "fully aware or had suspected that they were working for loan sharks,but continued as the company paid $13 for every 1000 name cards distributed.
Some had also recruited their friends and schoolmates to join the network and distribute name cards.
In the three months from January to March this year,62 young people were arrested for loan shark and related harassment activities.Last year,a total of 156 young people aged 19 and below were arrested.The number is more than double the 60 arrested in 2008.