Thwarting the loan sharks

SEIZED: Firdaus (second left) and his deputy DSP Mustapha Kamal Gamal (left) showing the banners removed from public places during Ops Cantas Khas Ah Long.

Police, working with local councils, take down posters, fl yers put up by illegal money lenders

KUCHING: The police removed
more than 300 illegal posters,
banners and f lyers put up in
public places here by illegal money
lenders under Ops Cantas Khas
Ah Long yesterday.
The two-hour operation which
started at 9am was joint ly
mounted with Kuching North City
Commission (DBKU), Kuching
City South Council (MBKS),
and Padawan Municipal Council
(MPP), covering the areas under
the jurisdiction of the three local
councils in the city.
Disclosing this at a press
conference here, State Commercial
Crime Investigation Department
(CCID) head Supt. Mohd Firdaus
Abdullah said eight police reports
were made based on information
gathered from the posters.
He added the pol ice were
also tracing the loan sharks
t h rough contact numbers
advertised in the posters and
would discontinue the services
of the phones.
“All the contact numbers stated
on the posters and fl yers will be
recorded and sent to Malaysia
Communication and Multimedia
Commission (MCMC) to stop their services.”
The people put ting up the
posters would also be referred to
the local councils to be charged
under the Local Authorities
(Advertisement) By-law 2012
for advertising in public places without permits.
The provisions of the by-law
state that no poster shall be
displayed without the approval
of the local authority, offenders
could be fined not exceeding
RM5,000 or jailed not more than six months.

The CCID chief advised those
in need of money not to borrow
from loan sharks no matter how
desperate the situation was as it
would lead to more serious trouble
later.
“Money borrowed from Ah Long
is not easy to pay back because they
imposed high interest compared
to banks and other legal sources.
“When borrowers are trapped
by Ah Long it will not only expose
them to danger and diffi culties but
also to their family members and
relatives.”
Firdaus also disclosed that three
men were charged in court with
illegal money lending yesterday.
He added t hat t his year
nine persons were arrested
in connection with the ‘loan
shark’ activities while another
t h r e e c a s e s we r e u nde r
investigation.
“It is not an easy task to take any
action against the money lenders
or Ah Long as the victim would
not cooperate with the police in
the investigation,” he said.
Under Section 5 of the Money
Lending Act 1951 anyone convicted
of lending money without valid
licence could be fined between
RM250,000 and RM1 million or
jailed up to fi ve years or both.
Whipping could also be imposed
on repeat offenders.

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