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GEORGE TOWN, July 14 -- Police have busted three syndicates of unlicensed money lenders including one that was led by a man with the title of Datuk Seri in a series of raids on July 7.
Penang police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said all the suspects aged between 21 and 59, were detained during raids mounted by the state Commercial Crime Investigation Department from 6 am to 5 pm after carrying out intelligence since last month.
"The first group involved 15 people, led by a 59-year-old man with the title of Datuk Seri who is also a businessman and they are believed to be members of Gang 24, the biggest triad in Penang involved in gambling, drugs, prostitution and extortion.
"The group’s modus operandi is to offer loans to the public charging them with an interest rate of between 30 to 50 per cent a month, if borrowers fail to repay their debts, members of the group will threaten and injure them," he told a press conference today.
He said the investigation found that the loan shark group had firearms and sharp weapons allegedly used to extort, hurt and intimidate borrowers, among whom were factory managers, businessmen and traders.
Mohd Shuhaily said the group was believed to have a turnover of RM500,000 per month through illegal money-lending activities.
He said the second loan shark group consisted of four individuals, led by a 25 -year-old man while a 36-year-old man that the police arrested during the raids was believed to be working alone.
"Following the arrest of the 20 men, the police seized 11 luxury vehicles including Toyota Vellfire, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Honda, 36 mobile phones, 64 bank cards, 22 sets of business cards, cash totalling RM24,520, nine wristwatches and seven units of jewellery," he said.
He said the three loan shark syndicates were also believed to have been involved in illegal money lending activities over the past several years, adding that all the suspects were being remanded to assist in the investigation under Section 5 (2) of the Moneylenders Act 1951.
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