PETALING JAYA: Several other Datuks could be involved in the running of a well-organised loan sharking syndicate in the country, police investigations revealed.
CID director Comm Datuk Musa Hassan said investigations into the syndicate’s activities led the police to believe that at least one more Datuk was involved.
“Our investigations revealed that only Datuks are supposedly involved in the syndicate. There is no Tan Sri involved. All of them are businessmen and not politicians.
“My officers from Bukit Aman are co-ordinating with other officers in every state to go after those involved in the activities,” he added.
At a press conference earlier, Selangor CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Abu Bakar Mustaffa urged the media not to speculate on the syndicate leaders' identities as they were “ordinary people.”
He denied media reports that Datuks and a Tan Sri were behind the syndicate.
SAC Abu Bakar said 16 people have been arrested in connection with the case so far.
At the parliament lobby, Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Noh Omar said no politician was involved in the syndicate as reported by the media.
The suspected masterminds who had “Datuk” titles were believed to be ordinary businessmen.
“Police recently arrested 16 runners belonging to four groups of 'ah long' in the Klang Valley but we believe they all come under an umbrella body – a loan shark syndicate.
“The masterminds may not be from the Klang Valley and police suspect that businessmen with datukship may be involved in the 'ah long' activities.
“Police will act tough on this matter. Nobody is above the law,” he said yesterday.
Noh said loan shark syndicates were well-structured and usually generated capital from vice-related businesses such as gambling and the flesh trade.
“Money made from the vice activities are channelled into the money-lending business to make more money,” he said.
Noh added that due to limitations in the Moneylenders Act, police could only step in when force and violence were used against borrowers.