The police arrested 2 men who were suspected to be members of a ‘Cyber Ah Long’ syndicate in the Ops Vulture at Taman Sri Tandop, Kedah on Sunday (11 September).
According to Sinar Harian, Kota Setar police chief Assistant Commissioner Ahmad Shukri Mat Akhir said the 2 men, aged 38 and 41, are believed to be involved in splashing paint on their victim’s property, chaining fences and pasting threatening notices against victims who failed to repay their loans.
He said the duo were detained in a Perodua Axia about 6.30 pm while the police intelligence team were conducting surveillance at the housing area.
However, he said that the initial investigation found that the duo were actually victims of loan sharks and they were forced to commit such acts after failing to repay their loans.
“Both suspects are borrowers of ‘Cyber Ah Longs’, who failed to make payments before being offered to do some work with a wage payments according to packages,” he said.
“They had been paid on per job basis, such as RM350 for splashing paint the victims’ property, RM150 for locking gates with steel chains and RM50 for posting intimidating notices on victims’ homes.”
According to Ahmad Shukri, both the suspects admitted to being behind 20 criminal intimidation cases in Kota Setar, Kubang Pasu and Pendang districts since August.
However, the 2 men claimed to only deal with the main syndicate through WhatsApp and had never met them before, though they had to take pictures and videos as evidence of the work being done.
Debt trap – the vicious cycle
A debt trap is when the amount of debt you owe gets out of control. This situation arises when we spend more than we earn. However, unexpected events do happen in life and bad planning may push you into taking on debt that may take years to pay off.
Unfortunately, debt accumulates over time with huge interest getting added to it. This may then force you to take another loan to repay the previous loan, where you pay interest on both loans, adding to the sum.
In some cases, the debtor may be forced to work on illegal activities for the extra cash to pay off their debt too.
Thus, we must always be reminded that reaching out to loan sharks is never the solution and it will only cause you more problems in the future.