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Borrowers' family members end up being victims of loan sharks

KUALA LUMPUR: Desperate family members of four men could no longer cope with the harassment from loan sharks.
The four men, who repeatedly borrowed from loan sharks, were disowned by their families.
A retiree known as Liong, 60, said her son, Tung, 36, a fruit seller, borrowed about RM100,000 from seven loan sharks since April to invest in money games and ran away on July 3.
The loan sharks demanded RM179,000 in return and splattered red paint on the front gate of her home on July 27.
"It's not that we don't want to pay. We've borrowed money from relatives to pay back.
"We didn't borrow the money. Go and find the borrower," a tearful Liong said at a press conference at Wisma MCA here on Friday.
The eldest brother of administrator Chin, 23, also took several loans from loan sharks and went into hiding in May.
"We've helped him repay RM30,000. We don't have any money anymore," said Chin.
The loan sharks splashed red paint at the family's house on July 15 and 19 and threatened to do so to their neighbours too if the loans are not settled.
Lim, a 47-year-old bus driver, said her 37-year-old stepbrother moved out from their house nine years ago.
She and her siblings received threatening messages from three loan sharks who claimed he took five loans from them in May.
When they ignored the messages, their home was splashed with red paint on June 27.
A 33-year-old businessman left his children with his elder brother Teng, 40, and has yet to come home since July 20.
Teng said the loan sharks have threatened to kidnap the borrower's children and burn his house.
Besides splashing red paint, the loan sharks also threw hell notes and kerosene into Teng's home in June and this month.
All the complainants have lodged police reports.
MCA Public Services and Complaints Department Datuk Seri Michael Chong said these loan sharks were behaving like bullies.
"They are getting too much. Last time you could still negotiate with them. Now they're becoming unreasonable.
"Please don't disturb the families. They're innocent," said Chong.
Noraini (not her real name), who was also at the press conference, was asked to return RM50,000 even though she borrowed about RM15,000 to repay her credit card debt in June.
"This is extortion," said Chong.
This year the department received 312 complaints related to loan sharks, involving 204 Chinese male borrowers, 35 Chinese females, 17 Malay males, nine Malay females, 30 Indian males and 16 Indian females.

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