State Commercial Crime Investigation Department Chief Supt Saiman Kasran said the exercise was part of police efforts in curbing illegal money lending activities in the State.
He said a total of 103 operations were conducted throughout Sabah, including Labuan last year, mostly in the West Coast like Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran and Penampang where the population is more.
"Some 16 men, most of them from the peninsula aged between 20 and 40 were arrested during the operation," he said, at the police headquarters in Kepayan, here, Friday.
"We have opened nine investigating papers and two case have been charged under Section 5(2) of the Money Lenders Act 1951," he said, adding this showed an increase in the number of arrests compared to 2012, where six cases and 12 arrest were made.
On another note, he said, they conducted such operations from time to time although the situation in Sabah is under control.
"We also advise people to go to the proper channels instead of borrowing from illegal money lenders," he said.
"Those borrowing from loan sharks may range from civil servants or even small entrepreneurs who turn to illegal money lenders who offer loans from RM10,000 up to RM100,000.
"If possible, do not borrow from loan sharks because the interest rates can in some cases reach up to 30 per cent and that is where borrowers would find it hard to repay their debt," he said.