KUALA LUMPUR: Fourteen members of two loan shark syndicates were detained following raids in Johor Baru.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Mohd Kamarudin Md Din said the suspects - 11 men and three women - were arrested at about 11.30pm on Tuesday (Sept 7).
"We believe all of them were involved in illegally issuing loans.
"We also seized various items including eight luxury vehicles, 23 mobile phones, 67 bank cards and RM339,870 cash," he said in a statement on Thursday (Sept 8).
Initial investigations revealed the syndicates have been operating since 2019, he added.
"The syndicates used social media and chat applications such as Facebook, WeChat and Whatsapp to advertise their loan offers, with interest set at 10%-15% within a week.
"When the victims fail to settle the loans, the syndicate members will threaten them, including damaging private properties.
"The syndicates will also offer new loans to cover the cost of previous loans to ensure that the victims will continue to be in debt," he said.
Comm Mohd Kamarudin said between Jan and Aug 31, 683 Ah Long cases were recorded involving RM2.9mil worth of loans.
"We detained 802 syndicate members this year.
"We are continuously conducting operations against Ah Long syndicates nationwide," he said.
He also advised the public to be wary of loan advertisements.
"Only take up loans with legitimate money lending companies or certified financial institutions.
"Check the legitimacy of money lenders through the proper channels," he said.
Comm Mohd Kamarudin urged those with information on any commercial crime to contact CCID Scam Response Centre at 03-2610 1559/03-2610 1599 or WhatsApp CCID Infoline at 013-211 1222 or contact any nearby police station.