A victim of the Sarawakian loan scam is now the target of the Singapore syndicate

Voon shows a picture of his father’s destroyed house. Foo was with him. – Photo by Galileo Petingi

KUCHING (July 18): A man here not only lost SG$32,000 in an online scam but is now the subject of extortion by the syndicate involved.

Voon Jun Kheong, 28, said his ordeal began on Feb 16 this year when, while working in Singapore, he saw an ad on Facebook for a personal loan and decided to apply.

He said on clicking the link, he was directed to the Singapore-registered WhatsApp number and proceeded to provide his personal details.

“I then connected with another person who asked me for my addresses in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as the amount of the loan I wanted to take.

“I was also told to pay a processing fee of SG$2,000, but in three days from Feb 16 to 20, I transferred a total of SG$32,000 because the person who contacted me kept saying that the numbers were wrong step in applying for that loan. .

“After realizing that I had transferred so much money, a friend of mine approached me and immediately stopped me from making another transfer. He told me that the person was a scammer, and I stopped conducting further transactions with the person,” he said.

He spoke at a press conference organized by the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Public Complaint Bureau at the party headquarters here yesterday.

Voon said that since the suspects identified themselves as part of a money-lending company in Singapore, he visited their office to confirm his loan application but was told by the staff there that they had no such information about his application.

At this point, she filed a report with the Singapore police and is awaiting further action from their side.

Further, Voon said he received a message on Feb 19 from another number registered in Singapore, stating that an amount of SG$300 had been deposited into his account via ATM transfer.

He then proceeded to file another report with the Singapore police about it.

On Feb 21, another suspect sent him a WhatsApp message, saying he borrowed money from the said company but did not pay.

Again, Voon said he reported the matter to the Singapore police and also handed over the SG$300 deposited into his account.

“I also informed my family of my situation, and I told them that this might be the work of a scammer, so we thought it was just a small issue and we just closed the case,” he said.

However, he said over the next few weeks, the scammers continued to harass him and his family over unpaid debts, and even threatened to burn down his house in Sarawak.

The threat came true on July 7 when his father’s house in Samarahan caught fire at around 3 am.

Voon said no one was living there at the time, with the fire also affecting two adjacent houses.

“They (suspects) even sent pictures of the destroyed house along with a voice message saying they were responsible. My mother and younger brother also received the same message.”

This prompted Voon to fly back here and, along with family members, filed six police reports in connection with the incident.

“Until now, we continue to be subjected to extortion and pressure from the suspects,” he said.

Commenting on the matter, SUPP Public Complaints Bureau chief Milton Foo said this is a case involving a foreign syndicate recruiting locals to carry out their crimes here.

Assuring Voon that he would assist in the matter, Foo said that he had already informed Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian about the case.

He also hopes that the Singapore police will track down the culprits involved.

“These international criminals are openly defying our laws in Malaysia by threatening the lives of our people.

“I am sure that our police will work hard to investigate the matter and provide justice for the victim,” said Foo.

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