Undaunted by the recent blitz initiated by the law enforcement agency, syndicates masterminded by repossession agents are introducing “protection stickers” to evade enforcement.
This comes in the wake of extensive media coverage exposing their unlawful activities.
These stickers, priced between RM100 and RM2,000 a month, were used to warn other repossession agents against repossessing these vehicles whose owners are burdened with outstanding loans.
Industry players told the New Straits Times that some of these syndicates decided to scrap their old stickers to evade police monitoring.
Ahmad (not his real name), who has been in the industry for over 15 years, said several groups had decided to stop using their old stickers after the NST reported on their illicit activities.
“Things were getting ‘hot’ so they decided to scrape the old stickers and come up with new ones.
“But their activities (selling protection stickers) continue as usual,” he told the NST.
Ahmad shared three new protection stickers, believed to originate from three teams actively operating in Brickfields, Selayang and Puchong.
“There are more new stickers.”
Ahmad said the syndicates were daring enough to misuse the logos of the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry and the Association of Hire Purchase Companies Malaysia to lend credibility to these stickers and deceive buyers.
Some of the stickers also featured lower serial numbers, confirming that they were recently introduced.
Ahmad claimed that those who bought stickers from these syndicates would be forced to continue paying even after they had settled their outstanding loans.
“A victim claimed that he had settled all his outstanding loans, so he stopped paying the syndicate. They went after him and threatened to repossess his motorcycle,” he said, showing screenshots of his chats with the victim.
Another repossession agent, Kumar (not his real name) said at least two groups in Klang had come up with new stickers.
He said these syndicates were becoming cautious.
“Vehicles displaying protection stickers have decreased following the NST reports.”
The police have initiated their first salvo to tighten up governance and clean up the repossession industry.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain said his men had met multiple agencies, including the banks, to discuss measures to effectively govern and monitor the industry, purportedly tainted with influence from secret society groups.
Previously, he said the police would request the banks establish a robust governance system to combat and deter criminal activities associated with repossession agents.
This follows the NST Focus series of reports, which exposed the emergence of syndicates masterminded by repossession agents selling repossessed vehicles at a lower price.
These syndicates, which created an illegal market out of selling these vehicles, would also offer new owners “protection stickers” that would serve as a warning to honest repossessors to dissuade them from recovering these vehicles for banks.
It is also reported that the syndicates are exploiting police reports filed by registered owners to deceive buyers and inflate the prices of repossessed vehicles.