GEORGE TOWN, June 16 ― The Penang police have detained 38 individuals for allegedly being involved in illegal money lending activities in a special operation to combat the menace of loan sharks.

State police chief Khaw Kok Chin said those arrested comprised 34 men and four women, aged between 21 and 72.

“Since the launch of a major crackdown on loan sharks on June 5 until yesterday, we have arrested 38 individuals around Penang and the neighbouring states.

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“Those arrested are found to have been involved in several old cases for which investigation papers have been opened and with their arrests, we can bring them to court to face charges,” he told reporters after a working visit to the Timur Laut district police headquarters today.

Asked if those arrested had anything to do with the criminal threats made against him, Khaw said the matter was still being investigated.

Khaw said that all 38 individuals detained were being investigated under Section 5(2) of the Moneylenders Act 1951.

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It was reported that the police took the letter of criminal intimidation against the Penang police chief seriously and were tracking down the suspects involved.

According to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, the threatening letter received by Khaw recently contained six pieces of 'hell money' banknotes and demanded that the Penang police contingent stop aggressive actions against the syndicate of unlicensed moneylenders in the state.

The threatening letter and criminal threats on June 1 through Pos Malaysia. ― Bernama