MALACCA - A 39-year-old salesman here not only lost his property and cash but also his wife to an unlicensed moneylender over a RM270,000 (S$106,000) loan he obtained nine years ago.
However, his ordeal continues to this day.
The salesman obtained the loan to set up a restaurant in Taman Melaka Raya in 2004.
Business was going on smoothly and the salesman managed his debt accordingly until the interest for the principal bloated to 20 per cent midway.
To settle the sum, the salesman handed over a piece of freehold land belonging to his younger brother in Paya Rumput here to the moneylender, and even a vehicle belonging to his wife in 2005.
He also paid RM150,000 as interest for the loan on the first month of securing the loan.
Despite handing over all his assets, the moneylender still demanded that his then 29-year-old wife work for him.
Ayer Keroh state assemblyman Khoo Poay Tiong, who is handling the case, said the salesman was unable to tell what type of work his wife was doing, but a year later, he received a divorce notice from her.
In an interview here yesterday, the salesman said he suspected that the moneylender was behind the separation between him and his wife, and he believes that his ex-wife is still serving the moneylender.
It is understood that the piece of land in a prime area that was handed over to the moneylender is worth a substantial sum, but the salesman is still being hounded to settle ridiculous interest charges, said Khoo.
According to him, in May, the salesman's car was damaged in an act believed to be linked to the moneylender.
The following month, the salesman's house and his brother's car were splashed with red paint and a note demanding for arrears of RM600,000 was placed there.
Khoo said that on Oct 3, the salesman received a call from a man claiming to be an agent of the moneylender, demanding the payment to be paid at once.
The series of attacks prompted the salesman to lodge a police report at the Malacca police headquarters last Friday.
The salesman fears that the moneylender would harm him if he fails to settle the amount, Khoo said, adding that he would also meet top state police officers to see how they would act against the aggressive moneylender.