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PENANG police have crippled a syndicate offering a non-existent loan, detaining 13 individuals in a raid on a luxury condominium in Perda on last Wednesday.
The group also allegedly committed mischief and issued criminal threats.
Penang police chief Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said the success was the result of a raid carried out by a team from Penang CID at 12.45pm, following reports of mischief and criminal threats involving the syndicate.
“A police team initially raided the condominium after a tip-off on illegal moneylending activities, mischief by spraying paint and criminal threats carried out by a suspect living in the unit. But during the raid, they found nine men and four women there.
“Investigations showed that the syndicate used the condominium as a place to operate a non-existent loan syndicate by charging victims who wanted to borrow money from them,” he told a news conference in George Town today.
He said based on investigations, the 13 suspects were members of a syndicate and their role was to contact the victims to offer non-existent loans. Each person was given a script to deceive borrowers.
Shuhaily said police checks found a total of 132 probe papers involving non-existent loans had been opened involving almost the whole country with losses close to RM2 million.
He said the syndicate’s modus operandi was to advertise their loans through social media, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, and then communicate with the victims before tricking them by asking for a certain amount of payment as processing fees.
“There were cases where the amount of money needed to be borrowed by the victims were not given while those who got loans will be threatened, such as their house being spray-painted,” he said.
He said based on investigations, the syndicate had been operating since last year and had moved within the luxury condominium in the past four months.
According to him, during the raid at the rented unit, police confiscated 27 units of mobile phones, laptops, a car and 10 notes with the victims’ telephone numbers and account numbers.
“Three of the suspects, all aged 19 to 30, have previous records related to crime and drugs.
“All of them are now remanded for further investigations,” he said, adding that they were being investigated under sections 427 and 420 of the penal code. – Bernama, June 20, 2022.