Johor police arrest six men for allegedly extorting YouTubers

JOHOR BARU: Police have arrested six men, believe to be loan sharks, for allegedly extorting three YouTubers here.

Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the suspects were arrested between Oct 15 and Oct 18 at five different locations around here and Ayer Hitam.

“The suspects are aged between 25 and 35. Investigations revealed that four of them have a criminal record for causing serious injury, cheating, and drug cases.

“Four of them are being detained under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) for 21 days starting Oct 22 until Nov 10, while the remaining two is under remand for six days from Oct 19 until Oct 24,” he said during a press conference at the state police headquarters here on Thursday (Oct 22).

He added that the police have also seized two vehicles, one laptop, one computer, mobile phones, SIM cards, a fake gun, and one parang aside from ledger books that contain the borrower’s name.

In an unrelated raid, Comm Ayob said that eight men have been arrested for involvement in loan shark activities.

“The suspects, aged between 25 and 44, were arrested between Sept 29 until Oct 12. The first raid was conducted on Sept 29 at a house in Bukit Baru Jaya, Bukit Baru Dalam, Melaka, and arrested six men.

“The second raid was on Oct 12 at a shop in Danga Bay where two men were arrested,” he said, adding that all suspects were arrested under Poca.

Comm Ayob said police have also confiscated 10 computers, 31 mobile phones, 40 SIM cards including Singapore-registered numbers, bank cards, one vehicle, cash worth RM62,000 and S$300 (RM916).

“Both of these groups have been operating for more than a year and recently became active after the movement control order (MCO) was eased.

“The group also has similar modus operandi where they would look for victims through social media, get their personal details such as bank accounts, house address, IC numbers before transferring money into the bank account given without consent.

“The amount is usually between S$400 (RM1,222) to S$1,500 (RM4,582). Their target is mostly Malaysians working in Singapore,” he said, adding that the interest rate is between 15% and 20%.

He added that failure to pay would result in extortion from the loan sharks by using weapons such as parang, fake guns aside from throwing molotov cocktails at the victim’s house.

Both cases are investigated under Section 435/436 of the Penal Code for causing mischief by fire, Section 427 of the Penal Code for mischief by causing damage to government property and Section 36(1) of the Firearms Act 1960 for being in possession of artificial arms.

On Oct 3), three YouTubers made a plea in video asking help from Comm Ayob after receiving threatening messages from a Singapore-registered phone number.

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