MELAKA: Melaka police have detained four men for allegedly being hired by loan shark syndicates to intimidate borrowers as well as their unsuspecting neighbours with petrol bombs and red paint.
Melaka police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Majid Mohd Ali said the four suspects had been active since 2019 and learned to make Molotov cocktails through YouTube.
“These loan sharks commissioned the four through social media to carry out the attacks on the borrowers and even the neighbours who have no links to the syndicates.
“The four received orders from the illegal moneylenders through Facebook and had never met the loan sharks who were all operating from Johor, ” he said on Friday (March 26).
DCP Abdul Majid said the four were paid RM200 to RM300 each for the task of splashing paints, and RM500 each for the arson attacks at homes.
“The four would not only intimidate the borrowers but also their immediate neighbours, ” he said.
DCP Abdul Majid said the suspects, aged between 25 and 60, would normally consume alcohol first before filling the empty bottles with petrol just before staging the attacks.
He said the modus operandi of these henchmen came to light after a 27-year-old man lodged a report on Jan 17 that he was the victim of such an attack although he had never borrowed money from any illegal moneylender.
DCP Abdul Majid said the investigation team from Melaka CID managed to solve the case with the arrest of a 38-year-old man from Batu Berendam here on March 10.
Following the first arrest, he said police managed to nab three more suspects.
DCP Abdul Majid said police confiscated various items from the suspects, among others, a car, 12 empty beer bottles, four fake vehicle registration number plates and five mobile phones.
He said police managed to solve 17 cases of paint splashing and four arson attacks at houses in the state with the arrests.
DCP Abdul Majid said police are probing the case under Section 436 and Section 427 of the Penal Code for mischief by fire and damaging properties, respectively.
Separately, a 29-year-old female accountant and four of her male siblings were among six people arrested for their alleged involvement in a Bitcoin mining operation in Alor Gajah here.
DCP Abdul Majid said they were arrested on March 16 when her siblings and one Indonesian man were attempting to shift Bitcoin machines at a shop lot in Taman Sungai Petai Bahagia in Alor Gajah.
He added that the four aged, between 29 and 39, led to a series of raids at six premises in Jasin, Alor Gajah and Melaka Tengah districts before the female accountant was also nabbed.