‘Moneylenders’ from Singapore turned violent extortionists


KUALA LUMPUR: Extortion syndicates from Singapore are posing as moneylenders on social media to entrap Malaysians into taking “loans” before harassing them for the repayment of money they never received.

This was the case for a 29-year-old baker, who only wanted to be known as Kwan, when he clicked on a link for a loan application advertised on Facebook several months ago.

Kwan – who is from Karak, Pahang, but works in Singapore – had filled a form to apply for a S$10,000 (RM34,000) loan.

He later changed his mind about the loan and decided to cancel the application.

However, soon after, he received a call from the moneylender who demanded he pay a cancellation fee of S$2,000 (RM6,800).

Kwan’s troubles began when he refused to pay the sum.

The moneylender traced his family house in Karak through the baker’s former employer and began harassing his family early this month.

Kwan’s parents, siblings and wife were called up and threatened before demands were made to pay the cancellation fee.

The moneylender also told Kwan’s wife that he had deposited S$300 (RM1,020) into her husband’s bank account and produced a fake bank-in slip.

Fearing for the family’s safety, Kwan’s wife, who only wanted to be identified as Chong, said she transferred S$200 (RM680) into the moneylender’s account but the latter claimed he never received it.

The threats became more severe when runners of the extortionist turned up at Kwan’s family house and lit a fire outside the compound on two occasions last week.

The extortionist also threatened to kidnap the couple’s two children, aged four and five, and demanded another S$3,000 (RM10,200) as alleged costs for the fire that was set at the family house.

Chong, who is a 28-year-old storekeeper, said she and her in-laws lodged three police reports over the harassment at the Bentong police station.

She also took her case to MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong to seek assistance.

Michael said the extortion ring operates from Singapore and is difficult to trace.

“They are Singaporean extortionists on the pretext of being moneylenders and are targeting Malaysian victims.

“The Singapore police are also aware of these syndicates. Please stop resorting to loan sharks and if you must, take loans from licensed moneylenders,” he said in a press conference yesterday.

Michael said he will meet the police over the case.

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Singapore , Extortion , Scam

   

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