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Sunday December 13, 2009

Extreme tactics used on beggars

MALACCA: The presence of three horribly disfigured beggars at night markets in Taman Malim Jaya and Kampung Lapan here has shocked residents into calling for the authorities to step in.

The faces and foreheads of the three seem to have been scalded with acid and two of them had no hands and one had no toes.

Their faces were so disfigured that it is difficult to guess their gender and age.

The three, believed to be foreigners, appeared at several night markets here about three weeks ago, startling residents with their deformities.

Preying on emotions: This old man who is badly disfigured is seen begging near the entrance of Bukit Beruang in Malacca last week.

Readers tipped off Starprobe when the similarities among the three and their appearances together at the same night market at the same time arouse suspicions that they might belong to a syndicate preying on the emotions of the people to get money.

Their modus operandi has apparently worked well, judging from the money they have been able to collect.

On Tuesday evening, the Starprobe team followed these beggars and saw them being picked up by a taxi.

The team tailed them but the taxi driver managed to lose them after realising they were being followed.

The team also tried to follow them on Monday evening.

Residents said they were concerned about the beggars as it was possible that they were victims of syndicates who could have abducted them.

“Without their hands, it is most likely they cannot even feed themselves.

“Their faces are so disfigured, so even if their family members did stumble upon them, they would not recognise them at all. It’s pretty shocking.

“Without their fingers, thumb prints are gone. I hope the authorities can trace them and establish their identities,’’ a resident said.

Another caller expressed suspicion over the whole thing, saying that she believed such beggars, especially if they were “purposely disfigured”, were there more for greed.

“They are nothing more than employed beggars,” the caller said.

Related Stories:
Syndicates rake in profits
Team given the slip after target senses stake-out

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