Malaysian moneylenders pay through credit cards

April 25th, 2008 - 3:56 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, April 25 (IANS) A borrower in Malaysia can get money just by swiping the credit card - not from a bank but from `Along’, the moneylender. “No questions asked, no agreement signed, and no `Along’ chasing after you when you default on payment,” according to a report in Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau.

“They give you the amount you have swiped minus the 3.5 percent to 5 percent one-off interest on the amount borrowed.

“But the innocent party in such transactions, the banks are left to bear the risk of bad debts,” The Sun daily said quoting the Chinese daily, calling `Alongs’ “loan sharks”.

Over RM two million ($650,000 approx.) were withdrawn in the last one month before a bank pressed the panic button and lodged a police report.

The “new service” offered by `Alongs’ came to light only after the bank became suspicious when the card transactions done at a discotheque in Penang were to the tune of thousands of ringgit.

Police have not discounted the possibility that `Alongs’ are using the discotheque as a front for its lending business. However, police find the case tricky as there is no report of card fraud by cardholders.

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