JOHOR BARU: Desperate to pay for his daughter’s college fees in Russia and keep his business afloat, a 58-year-old lorry driver ended up borrowing some RM22,000 and is now struggling to pay off the increasing debts.
The former businessman, who wanted to be known only as Sam, landed in more trouble when the moneylender he first borrowed from recommended taking another loan from a different Ah Long to pay for his interest.
“I did as he told but I got in a deeper mess, as I had to pay the interests for both the Ah Longs, which came up to about RM3,000 monthly,” he said in an interview yesterday.
Although Sam had paid the loansharks some RM57,000, he has been struggling to settle the base sum since taking the first loan in April 2015.
“I borrowed from the Ah Long to foot the college fees for my daughter, as I was experiencing hiccups with my business.
“Things became worse after that. I even had to sell off my business and took up a job as a lorry driver about six months ago,” he added.
Sam, who has four children aged between 19 and 35, said he could not take a loan from the bank because he had been blacklisted due to outstanding payments for his credit cards.
“At a point when I could no longer keep up with repayments with the increasing loan interest, the loan sharks turned aggressive and threatened to harm my family,” he said, adding that he not only feared for the safety of his wife but also his son’s family with whom they were living with.
Johor Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar said he had helped Sam lodge a police report against the loan sharks.
The Star reported on loan sharks making a fortune off their borrowers and state police nabbed two major Ah Long gangs with six men arrested in a series of raids and recovered a huge collection of items.