It’s a no-no to strong arm tactics

POLICE have set up a task-force to zero-in on in-house contractors who are muscling for renovation jobs at newly completed apartments and condominiums using their links to triads in Penang.

An initial police probe found that many of them, who charged exorbitant prices for materials and workmanship, were protected by secret societies.

In the latest incident, police nabbed an “in-house” contractor, 34, after he had barred another contractor from starting renovation work at an apartment unit in Batu Lanchang here.

The suspect, said to have close links to the ‘08’ underworld gang, insisted that the house owner engaged him for the renovation or buy construction materials from him.

The victim, 59, lodged a police report on the matter.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Gan Kong Meng said a suspect was picked up in Jelutong at 10am yesterday.

“He is now being investigated under Section 506 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation.

“We have received four police reports of such similar cases at the same newly completed apartment block,” ACP Gan said.

“We will not tolerate this. House owners who are threatened by such contractors can come to us. House owners can engage any contractor they like,” he told a press conference at George Town police district headquarters.

He advised those who faced similar problems in Jelutong to contact ASP Azhar Abu Bakar at 012-9065999, Insp Megat Shafril Emran at 019-4100400 or lodge a police report at the nearest police station.

The in-house contractors who mono-polise renovations at newly completed high-rise residential buildings are mostly linked to secret societies active in the district.

It is learnt that house owners who refuse to engage them would be posed with all sort of problems, ranging from stolen or broken window panes, or having their unit doors, or walls damaged.

House owners were also forced to pay exorbitant prices for a wheelbarrow of sand or a bag of cement.

Source: The Star

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