JOHOR BARU, July 31 — A total of 11 individuals believed to be members of Ah Long (loan shark) syndicates were arrested in raids around Pelangi Indah here and Iskandar Puteri on July 28 and 29.

They were believed to have used various kinds of intimidation (setting fire and splashing paint on the houses of victims) on those unable to repay their loans.

Johor police chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said intelligence and public information led to the arrest of 10 locals comprising nine men and a woman, as well as an Indonesian man, all aged between 19 and 46, from two syndicates.

He said results of the investigation found that syndicate members received RM450 to RM800 in wages, and some of the members were also found to have borrowed money (from these syndicates) and were working for the syndicates to pay off their debts.

“We found that there are individuals (who borrowed money) and are hence trapped (with the syndicates) because they are unable to repay their loans.

“We want such syndicates to know that we take cases like this seriously and that these activities will be eradicated,” he said at a press conference here today.

He added that through the arrests, his team had successfully solved a total of 10 fire and splashing of paint cases in the state and three other cases in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.

Kamarul Zaman said the two syndicates targeted Malaysian workers in Singapore as victims by advertising loan offers on Facebook.

All 11 individuals have been remanded for a week starting yesterday (July 30). — Bernama