KUCHING: A couple thought that they could settle a debt of RM300 with loan sharks within a short period of time, but the loan turned out to be their biggest mistake.
After three months of payment, they found that they have paid more than they borrowed, almost triple the original amount.
Four months ago, on the recommendation of a friend, the husband and wife, both in their late 40s, applied for a loan from a money lender by phone call.
The money lender’s men handed over the cash to the couple at their residence at a village in Demak Laut.
The following month, the couple settled the first payment which they claimed to be RM140.
It was to be RM150 and RM165 in subsequent months.
Usually three men who claimed to be debt collectors working for the money lender came in a car to their house each month.
The wife claimed that she knows two of the men — one from Taman Sukma, the other from their village.
The wife said that they could not make any payment for April as she had resigned from her job and was starting to work at a canteen.
Then at 9.55pm last Sunday, the regular collectors came on their motorcycles and demanded that they pay RM310 to cover last month’s instalment.
The wife explained why she could not meet their demand and asked them to consider extending the deadline for payment.
The men got angry and told the couple that they must pay up that night.
In lieu of that, they would get hold of the family’s television set as surety.
The couple’s daughter angrily told them that they could not take the TV set as it was the only one they had.
That sparked a quarrel between the men and the family.
The men threatened certain ‘consequences’ if the family failed to pay their debt that night.
The couple appealed to the men to reconsider but the men refused to do so and even wanted the husband to hand over the keys to their motorcycle, which was still on loan.
When the wife told the men that she would lodge a police report if they took the bike, the men dared her to call the police.
After grabbing the keys from the husband, they rode the motorcycle away.
The couple then called the police and a Mobile Patrol Unit (MPV) arrived at their house.
After hearing the wife’s explanation the police recommended that they lodge a report at Simpang Tiga police station.
The couple did lodge their report that same night.