JOHOR BARU: An inquiry about a loan from an illegal money-lender in Singapore has led to a coffee chain manager's siblings here being threatened and one of their cars splashed with red paint.
Housewife Goh Geck Bee, 36, said her Singapore-based younger brother inquired about a loan earlier this month from what he thought was a legitimate money lender’s website for investment.
She said her 31-year-old brother was attracted by the low interest advertised on the website and submitted his details including his home address, MyKad, work permit and payslip.
“However, when a representative called my brother to explain about the loan, he declined it after learning that he would be charged an interest rate of 20% and realised that he had approached a loan shark, ” she said at a press conference here.
She added that the loan shark debited S$180 (RM556) into her brother’s bank account the next day and forced him to pay the debt adding that the Ah Long got ticked off at his refusal to do so and threatened to harm his family members in Johor Baru.
Goh added that she received a call via WhatsApp on April 8, followed by more than 12 voice messages from a man threatening to harm her family if she failed to make the payment.
“I was shocked when he sent me the MyKad photos of my family members, ” she said.
Goh added that on Thursday (April 15), her 44-year-old stepbrother Khoo Han Yong heard a splashing sound from outside his house in Taman Bukit Indah and found his black car covered in red paint.
She said that the incidents have left her and her family shaken and are stressed about their safety.
“The loan sharks also said he will harass my mother and other siblings until he receives the payment so we decided to seek help from the Pasir Gudang MCA public complaints bureau, ” she said.
The bureau’s chief Lim Thow Siang said more than 60 of such cases were received since April last year, where Malaysians working in Singapore inquired or took an illegal loan in the island-republic, which led to the harassment of their families in Johor Baru.
“These online advertisements usually carry bank logos and offer very low interest rates; that is how they reel in their victims. Some even have sophisticated-looking websites to convince the victims, ” he said.
Meanwhile, Iskandar Puteri OCPD Dzulkhairi Mukhtar advised the public to avoid clicking on any online advertisements and posts to avoid falling into their trap.
“If a person wants to obtain a loan, it is better to head to the bank to avoid getting involved in any illegal schemes, ” he said, adding that the case was being investigated under Section 427 of the Penal Code.