KUALA LUMPUR - A 27-year-old customer service worker was harassed by an "ah long" imposter who went to the extent of attempting to burn his house down.
The victim, who only wished to be known as Lim, said he had initially borrowed RM1,500 (S$500) from a man claiming to be from a moneylending company while he was working in Singapore in September.
"I needed the money to cover living expenses, and I discovered his supposed moneylending company through a text messaging ad.
"I managed to pay back RM3,300 within a month and I thought the matter was settled," he told a press conference organised by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong yesterday.
But that was the start of Lim's woes. The ah long imposter demanded further payment of RM15,000 and threatened to hurt him and his family members.
"On Oct 7, a group of men splashed petrol and set fire to my home's front gate in Jenjarom (Selangor). They recorded the incident and sent me the video via WhatsApp.
"I was terrified and transferred RM30,000 on the same day but a man known as Alex, supposedly representing the company, asked for a further RM30,000," he said.
On Oct 9, Lim found his neighbouring houses doused with red paint, an apparent attempt to smear his reputation.
"The extortion tactics included tossing a Molotov cocktail towards my home but luckily, my neighbours managed to put out the flames before they spread.
"They also threw firecrackers in front of my house on Nov 25," he said.
Lim has since lodged two police reports on the matter.
Chong said the assailants were not ah long but extortionists.
"These imposters even put a flyer in front of his home with a Singapore-registered mobile number printed on it, pressuring Lim to pay up.
"Ah long would not resort to these tactics as once a victim has paid up, it will be the end of the matter.
"These suspects instead would demand more money if the victims pay up and use drastic tactics against them," he said.
Chong urged the police to take action against the culprits as soon as possible as the assailants' actions could be classified as attempted murder and arson.
"I believe Singapore's police should also probe the matter as the syndicate is using a Singapore-registered number.
"Therefore, I have advised Lim to lodge a police report in Singapore too," he said.