JOHOR BARU: A restaurant owner is fearing for the safety of her family and workers after loan sharks splashed her shopfront with red paint and threatened to set it on fire over some money borrowed by her former employee.
Azizan Inche Harun, 38, who stays on the floor above her restaurant in Seri Alam here, was alarmed when she heard loud noises coming from outside the premises at 11.30am on Monday (Feb 8).
“It sounded like someone was repeatedly hurling things at my shop’s roller shutters, so I went downstairs to check.
“I was shocked to find red paint splashed across the front of my shop with a note demanding that my ex-employee repay his loan, or the ah long would return to set my shop on fire.
“I contacted the ah long to clarify that the man was no longer working for me but he still demanded that I pay them RM5,000," she said at a press conference organised by state MCA government affairs liaison bureau chief Michael Tay on Tuesday (Feb 9).
Azizan said the former employee, a 26-year-old waiter, stopped showing up at the restaurant on Dec 15 last year after only working there for about two months.
“During his brief employment, he asked for salary advances a few times but I never expected it to come to this, ” she said, adding that she has learnt that the man fled to his hometown in Bachok, Kelantan.
About five days after he left, she began getting calls from six different loan sharks asking her to repay his loan.
“They all told me the same thing - he gave them my phone number and photos of my shop when he borrowed money from them, so they are now coming after me.
“My business has already dropped drastically because of the movement control order.
“Now I have to stress about a loan which I did not take and worry about the safety of my family and workers.
“I have been operating there for the past 10 years and this is the first time such an incident has happened. I hope they will stop harassing me because I have nothing to do with the former waiter and his loans, ” she said.
Seri Alam OCPD Supt Mohd Sohaimi Ishak said a police report on the incident was received on Tuesday afternoon and an investigation is ongoing under Section 5(2) of the Moneylenders Act 1951 and Section 427 of the Penal Code.