KUALA LUMPUR: A 30-year-old who tried to discontinue a "loan application" received threats from two Singapore-based "licensed money lenders" instead.
The victim, who only wanted to be identified as Lim, was working in Singapore when he sought financial assistance of S$30,000 (RM90,000) to settle his younger brother's debt.
When requested to transfer S$4,200 (RM12,600) to various Malaysian and Singaporean bank accounts for legal, processing and insurance fees, he complied, but did not receive the "loan" sum.
Lim grew suspicious and decided not to proceed, and he then was sent a video of a gate on fire and a few photos of Lim's family as a threat by two people allegedly linked to the company named "Michael" and "Sean".
They then splashed paint on a surau in the victim's hometown of Alor Gajah, Melaka, and left a threatening message for Lim.
The victim's neighbours knew he was innocent and explained his predicament, and a representative of the surau has accepted his apology.
Later on Dec 7, they splashed paint on a car in Alor Gajah and left his details.
MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong on Friday (Dec 13) said 10 similar cases of extortion were brought to MCA's attention in the past three months.
Chong described these "money lenders" as "extreme extortionists" and said that they have a modus operandi.
"They will obtain the personal information of victims during the 'loan application' process. After the victims 'repay' the 'loan', the lenders will demand for more money. If victims don't pay, they will threaten the victims," said Chong.
Chong also said it only gets worse, as victims have to keep paying due to the threats.
"This first started in Johor as the 'money lenders' are based in Singapore. It is now happening in the Klang Valley," he added.
Chong also said the Malaysian police are working with their Singapore counterparts on the matter.
'We had a discussion with Bukit Aman Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Societies Division (D7) principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Datuk Rohimi Md Isa and they are taking action.
"In the past few months, 13 people have been detained under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959," said Chong.
Chong advises members of the public to take loans only from licensed money lenders, not through WhatsApp or social media.