Johor cops arrest 8 loan shark syndicate members

They were arrested for acts of arson, vandalism, and threats against victims

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State police chief, Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said the male suspects arrested were aged between 16 to 43 - BernamaPic
State police chief, Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said the male suspects arrested were aged between 16 to 43 - BernamaPic

JOHOR BAHRU — Johor police arrested eight members of a loan shark syndicate, including a teenager, for committing acts of arson, vandalism, and threats against victims in a series of raids between 22 and 25 October.

State police chief, Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said all the male suspects, aged between 16 and 43, were arrested around Seri Alam, Kota Tinggi and Segamat by a team from Division D7 of the Johor Criminal Investigation Department (CID), with the assistance of district police.

He said the syndicate is believed to have been active since August with members being paid as much as RM1,000 for arson and RM600 for vandalism.

“These syndicate members get paid for these activities after victims fail to make loan repayments,” he told a press conference after the Johor CID chief’s handover of duties ceremony here today.

Also present at the event was Johor deputy police chief DCP M. Kumar.

Seized

Kamarul Zaman said as a result the raids, his team also seized a total of 15 handphones, tins of red paint, gloves, black paint spray cans, threat notes, plastic face masks as well as three cars namely a Perodua Bezza, Proton Waja and Proton Saga.

He said with the arrests, police have successfully solved 45 related cases in Johor Bahru, Kluang, Iskandar Puteri, Kulai, Seri Alam, Kota Tinggi, Muar, Pontian, Batu Pahat and Segamat areas, including four cases in Melaka and one in Negeri Sembilan.

Meanwhile, he said the syndicate’s modus operandi was to advertise loan offers on Facebook using the pretext of licensed Singapore moneylenders to deceive victims.

“If the borrower provides personal information related to their bank account, address and place of residence, the syndicate will continue to bank money into the account without the borrower’s consent.

“Borrowers are then compelled to make repayments with high interest rates, and if they do not comply, they will be subjected to vengeance,” he added. — Bernama

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