JOHOR BARU: An Ah Long syndicate has been using social media to “give out dozens of jobs” to people to scare defaulters.
The jobs include splashing red paint, leaving warning notes and in some cases, even using flammable materials such as thinner to torch house gates or vehicles.
The syndicate posts the addresses of defaulters and offers good money to those keen to carry out the jobs.
Security sources said in all the cases, the offenders never meet the loan sharks in person as everything is done online.
According to the sources, each time the job taker throws paint, puts up a warning notice or sets fire to the victim’s house, the job taker is paid up to RM1,000.
The job taker must show proof that the victim’s house or property has been “hit” via a video or photos before collecting payment.
Police uncovered this modus operandi from a recent loan shark harassment case in Muar, where a businessman’s house was torched and sprayed with paint in the wee hours of the morning while the family was asleep.
Based on CCTV footage, police managed to track down the vehicle used in the incident and make a series of arrests in Johor, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
The syndicate, which has been around for at least a year, offers loans of up to S$2,000 (RM6,000) via social media.
It is learnt that payments can be deposited in Malaysia or Singapore, but the interest rate can be as high as 15% to 20% a month.
Once the borrower defaults, he will get hounded first before a “hit on the home” job is posted to get him to pay up.
Meanwhile, Pulai MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau head Jimmy Tan Sin Meng, who during a press conference last week showed a video on how loan sharks were harassing an elderly couple, commended the Johor police for coming down hard on loan sharks.
He noted that loan sharks were getting bolder to the point of torching house gates.
“In one case, the victims did not even borrow any money, yet they are being harassed.
“Even their son, who is in Singapore, is being sent warning videos and threats, ” Tan added.
In that case, a woman known as Madam Koh said she feared for the safety of her elderly husband, two young grandchildren and her daughter-in-law after their home was sprayed with paint and their front gate torched.
The 65-year-old woman believed that loan sharks were after her 60-year-old sister.
Her son works in Singapore as a chef and has not been back here since March due to Covid-19 movement restrictions.–The Star