13 members of non-existent loan syndicate nab

GEORGE TOWN: Penang police have crippled a non-existent loan syndicate which also committed mischief and criminal threats after detaining 13 individuals in a raid on a luxury condominium, in Perda near here on June 15.

Penang police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said the success was the result of a raid carried out by a police team from Penang CID at 12.45 pm following reports of mischief and criminal threats involving the syndicate.

“A police team initially raided the condominium because they received information 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 shown that the syndicate used the condominium as a place to operate a non-existent loan syndicate by charging processing fees on victims who wanted to borrow money from them,“ he told a news conference here today.

He said based on the investigation, the 13 suspects were members of a syndicate and their role was to contact the victims to offer non-existent loans and each one was also provided with a script to deceive borrowers.

Mohd Shuhaily said a police check found that a total of 132 investigation papers involving non-existent loans had been opened involving almost the whole country with losses amounting RM1.914 million and the syndicate.

He said the modus operandi of the syndicate was to advertise their loans through social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp and then communicate with the victims before deceiving 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 get loans will be threatened, including some who got their house spray-painted, threatened and others,“ he said.

He said based on the investigation, the syndicate had been carrying out the activity since last year and had moved from one place to another in the luxury condominium in the past four months.

According to him, during the raid, the police confiscated 27 units of mobile phones, laptops, a car and 10 notes with the victims’ telephone numbers and account numbers at the rented unit.

“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 investigation,“ he said, adding that they were being investigated under Sections 427 and 420 of the Penal Code. – Bernama

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