Extortionists using extreme measures to get people to take loans

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of extortionists are believed to be threatening would-be borrowers, splashing paint on their houses and vehicles, to force them into taking soft loans.

In the latest case, a borrower wanted to borrow RM90,000 from an illegal moneylender to settle his younger brother’s debts.

After paying an upfront fee, he decided not to proceed, infuriating the group, which is believed to have links with Singapore’s underworld.

They then resorted to teach the man a lesson by sending him a video of a gate on fire and a few photos of his family members.

The victim, who only wished to be known as Lim, 30, said he believed it was a threat to force him to take up the full loan.

“Before this, I was working in Singapore and had wanted to borrow S$30,000 (RM90,000) to help pay for my brother’s debts.

“But the lender requested for me to transfer S$4,200 (RM12,600) to various Malaysian and Singaporean bank accounts as processing fees.

“I did as told but the loan amount never came, so I decided to back out, ” he told a press conference organised by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong.

On Dec 3, Lim claimed the group even splashed paint on a house of worship in Alor Gajah, Melaka, where he is from, and left a threatening message.

Four days later, they splashed paint on a car, also in Alor Gajah, and left his details behind.

Lim decided to seek Chong’s help to highlight his predicament.

Chong said Bukit Aman’s Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Societies division were working closely with their counterparts in Singapore to take action.

“Over the past few months, 13 people have been detained under Prevention of Crime Act.

“These moneylenders/extortionists will get all personal information during the loan application

process.“Some who came to us received partial disbursement, but many did not receive a single sen.

“After the victims start to repay the loan, they will demand even more money, ” said Chong.

He urged the public to take up loans through the proper channels or licensed moneylenders.

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