JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A 59-year-old father wanted his son to have the wedding of his dreams, so he borrowed RM5,000 (S$1,685) from what he thought was a licensed moneylender.
A few months after signing the loan papers, the father, identified only as Mr Pang, had trouble repaying the loan and started getting threatening calls.
He said some thugs, believed to be working for the moneylender, came to his house in early March, locked the front gate and splashed red paint on the wall.
Mr Pang, a technician, is now living in fear for his and his family's safety.
He said: "So, I decided to go to a moneylender because borrowing from the bank would take time. They told me that for a loan of RM5,000, the repayment was RM1,350 for eight months which came up to RM10,800.
"I thought they were a licensed outfit and took up the offer without realising that the interest rate was very high."
Mr Pang did not have any problem servicing the loan until he lost his job in December. He could only afford a partial repayment of RM1,000 in January.
Since he could not take the harassment, Mr Pang lodged a police report in Nusa Bestari, Iskandar Puteri.
Asked why he went to a moneylender who charged interest at 14.5 per cent a month, he said he thought it was licensed because it had an office and proper signboard.
Mr Pang also said he was not given a copy of the loan agreement.
"I hope the police and Bank Negara can investigate this company," he said.
In another case, illegal moneylenders are believed to have broken into a house in Taman Nusa Bayu, also in Iskandar Puteri, and stolen jewellery and cash worth thousands of ringgit several days ago.
It is learnt that the victim had almost paid off a loan of RM3,000 but the loan sharks wanted payments totalling RM10,000.
The burglars ransacked the house and splashed red paint inside the house.
When contacted, Iskandar Puteri OCPD Assistant Commissioner Nor Hashim Mohamad said police are investigating both cases under Section 5(2) of the Money Lenders Act for offering moneylending services without a valid licence.