THE Perak Commercial Crime Investigation Divison is going all out to remove advertisements put up by loan sharks around Ipoh.
Working together with the Ipoh City Council, 15 policemen and 21 council enforcement officers launched a two-hour Operation Vulture in the city and successfully removed almost 2,000 banners advertising loan services.
Perak Commercial Crime Chief Superintendent Lee Ewe Kiong said they collected 385 banners in Ampang, 450 in Bercham, 621 in Tambun and 510 in Kampung Tawas.
“All these banners will be handed over to the council to be disposed of, but we are not going to stop here.
“As this operation is being carried out in stages, we will be targetting other areas in Ipoh and around Perak again soon,” he told a press conference after the operation on Thursday.
Supt Lee said Hilir Perak police and council officers had also launched the same operation in the district the same day.
“I was informed that around 400 banners have been removed and disposed of in the district.
“On March 9, local authorities in Sungai Siput also removed around 500 banners together with the Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council,” he said.
Noting that Ipoh, Taiping and Hilir Perak were hotbeds of loan shark activities in the state, Supt Lee said the number of complaints received from the public regarding harassment and threats they faced from loan sharks was on the rise.
In January and February this year, they received 30 complaints, with 10 arrests on loan sharks made, while 194 complaints were received in 2016 with a total of 117 loan sharks arrested.
“My advice, to the public – please do not borrow money from loan sharks as it could be the start of neverending trouble.
“We are ready to take our next course of action on loan sharks. We won’t hesitate to charge those who are nabbed under POCA (Prevention of Crime Act), be it runners or the heads in hiding,” he said.