SHAH ALAM: Police have arrested nine suspects who were allegedly hired by loan sharks to intimidate and shame defaulting borrowers.
Shah Alam OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Iqbal Ibrahim said a series of raids was conducted in Sungai Besi on Monday (March 27) and Tuesday (March 28) where the seven men and two women aged 21 to 41, were detained.
"We also seized a car, a motorcycle, two cans and four bottles of red paint, paint thinner, three padlocks, three bicycle locks, some clothes, two red marker pens and other items.
"Our checks found that seven of the suspects had records for criminal and drug offences," he told reporters at police headquarters here on Wednesday (March 29).
He said further investigations revealed the group was put together by the 41-year-old suspect.
"The mastermind had approached a loan shark online to borrow money but was instead offered a job to intimidate and shame loan defaulters.
"The suspect agreed and was paid between RM300 and RM450 per job.
"Our checks revealed the group would smear paint on property, affix embarrassing notices, and even lock up the houses of defaulters," he said, adding that the ringleader had received a total of 80 bank deposits, believed to be from loan sharks, to the tune of RM25,000.
He said further investigations found the suspects never actually met their employers and only communicated with them through WhatsApp.
"Our investigations showed the suspects received over 26 deposits connected to cases in Shah Alam. (So far) we have managed to positively link them to three cases.
"It is possible that other cases were never reported to the police out of embarrassment," he said, adding that the suspects have been remanded for four days to help with investigations.