In fear of loan shark’s revenge

JOHOR BARU: After being harassed by loan sharks for over a year, a 24-year-old man finally caught one of them responsible for turning his and his family’s life a living hell.

But he is now living in fear.

A. Siva Rao and his brother caught one of the loan sharks by chance on Dec 14 when he was believed to be circling his house.

“We recognised the car as we had seen a person throwing a petrol bomb into our house using the same car. We managed to to block the car and catch the man.

“We found glass bottles, petrol tanks, red paint and threatening notes with addresses in the car, ” he said, adding that he handed the man over to the police.

Siva said he was now living in fear, afraid that the loan sharks would come after him.

“I’m afraid they will come after me when he comes out of police custody, after his remand period expires, ” he said.

Siva said that his plight started in December last year when the loan sharks threw a petrol bomb into his house in Skudai.

“It was our family home and there were toddlers and senior citizens living in the house. They were traumatised by the incident.

“The loan sharks continued to harass us, asking us to repay a loan if we want the threats to stop, but none of us had borrowed from loan sharks, ” he said.

He added that petrol bombs and red paint were thrown into their house more than eight times since last year.

“We have made several police reports but we continued to receive threats.

“We then decided to just give money to the loan sharks, hoping that they would stop the threats, ” he said, adding that they paid the loan sharks RM33,000 and S$8,000 (RM24,000).

Siva said he had no choice but to take a personal loan from a bank in order to pay the loan sharks, despite not having borrowed any money from them.

“We are worried as there are only women and children in our house. The rest are working in Singapore.

“They stopped harassing us for a while after getting the money but a few days ago, they started doing it again, ” he said, adding that he had resigned from his job as a security officer in Singapore to return here to attend to the matter and ensure his family’s safety.

Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the police were going all out to eradicate loan shark syndicates in the state.

“We have arrested 296 individuals involved in loan shark activities this year, which resulted in the end of some nine loan shark syndicates in Johor.

“Police will continue to crack down on such activities and the individuals involved in it, ” he said, adding that some 338 investigation papers had been opened on criminal offences conducted by loan shark syndicates.

Comm Ayob also told the public not to be afraid and to provide information on such activities to the police.

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