BUKIT MERTAJAM: Police have arrested seven men, believed to be members of an illegal moneylending syndicate which humiliated loan defaulters by forcing them into a dog cage.
Their activity came to light when a 49-year-old businessman lodged a police report that he was punched, kicked and forced into the cage for two hours over a loan he had not settled.
Central Seberang Prai Deputy OCPD Supt Mohan Singh told a press conference here that the seven, aged between 27 and 42, were picked up on Wednesday after the businessman from Taman Bagan, Butterworth, made a police report.
He said the businessman had received an SMS last Friday enquiring if he wanted a loan of RM2,000.
“He accepted the offer and the following day, three men took him in a car to an office in Padang Lallang. In the car, he realised that one of the men was an illegal moneylender to whom he owed some money,” he said.
Supt Mohan Singh said that when the businessman later asked for six days to settle the loan, he was punched and kicked by the illegal moneylender and thrown into the dog cage for two hours.
The illegal moneylender also took from the businessman, among others, RM100, ring, spectacles and cellphone, he said.
“Following a report lodged on Monday night, a police team raided a house in Taman Jambu Mawar here at 12.50am on Wednesday and detained the seven suspects,” he said.
Police also seized several weapons including parangs, a samurai sword, and the cage, which police believe was used to confine borrowers who failed to settle their loans on time.
“The suspects were remanded at the magistrate's court until Tuesday,” said Supt Mohan Singh.