SIBU: The local police will be going all out this year against illegal money lending activities which of late have started to mushroom in the town.
District police chief ACP Mohd Kamal Kordi said yesterday he was very much aware of how “Ah Longs” in the town operated their business.
“When I said that we will go after them, I mean it and we will do it,” he made this assurance when Sarawak Central Region Hotel Association chairman Johnny Wong made a courtesy call to him yesterday.
The police, he said, had a plan and strategy to curb the activities.
“We have started operation against them. Officers from Bukit Aman have just left after taking action against one of them,” he said.
Mohd Kamal said there had been cases of Ah Longs going after their debtors who could not service the loans taken by them due to the high interest rate.
For the police to control the activities, he said, they needed the cooperation of the public, especially the victims.
“If the victims report to us, they will make our job easier. But the problem here is that not many are coming to us. They will only report to the police when they are persistently chased by the lenders and when the sums taken have reached up to several hundred thousands which is impossible for them to settle,” he added.
He said the reason why most people were not motivated to report to the police was because they feared for their safety.
Some licensed money lenders here had abused their licence by charging higher interest than that allowed, he revealed, adding: “Some of them doubled up acting like pawn shops accepting goods from the public.
“This is wrong as they need a separate licence for that.”
Separately, he said, the police would monitor closely on star rating hotels on illegal activities following the arrest of eight persons, including four women, for operating Internet gambling in a hotel earlier this month.
He said a local who had rented a room at a posh hotel here was also caught by his men for drug trafficking.
The police chief had also acceded to the request of Wong who wanted the police to conduct regular checks on licensed hotels concerning illegal activities in their premises.
The police, he added, would also go after foreigners who might be working illegaly at coffeeshops.