(File pix) Iskandar Puteri district police chief assistant commissioner Noor Hashim Mohamad (left) inspecting a car which was used during an extortion incident that took place at a restaurant operator in Taman Nusa Bestari, Johor. Pix by Zain Ahmed

ISKANDAR PUTERI: A group of four men aged between 34 and 52 years old were arrested by police for extortion.

The arrests were made on Saturday at 11.50pm after a police report was lodged a day earlier by the victim who was a restaurant operator in Taman Nusa Bestari.

The extortions were believed to have started this year and it was the first time for the victim who was asked to pay RM300 a month or RM3,600 for a year as protection money.

Iskandar Puteri district police chief assistant commissioner Noor Hashim Mohamad said two separate arrests were made on the four suspects. The first suspect was detained at his home in Kampung Pasir and the three others were caught at the same house in Kg Sri Jaya, Batu 6 in Tampoi.

"We also seized a red Proton Iswara which was used during the extortion from one of the suspects," he said.

Noor Hashim said the restaurant operator and his wife were approached by the suspects at 10.47pm on Friday when they were about to close shop.

"The suspects demanded the protection money from the restaurant operator and the wife begin to scream loudly saying the men were thieves," he said.

Noor Hashim said the suspects who were startled by the woman screaming quickly dashed out and fled in their red Proton Iswara.

Noor Hashim said the four suspects had been placed under remand until March 15 to facilitate investigation.

He said the case had nothing to do with any triad but initial investigation revealed the group was found to be taking methamphetamine and had previous criminal records including extortion and possession of stolen goods.

"There are no other victims so far that we can identify. However I hope anyone who is forced to pay protection money lodges a police report quickly," he said.

The case is being investigated under Section 385 of the Penal Code for extortion and is punishable with up to 7 years jail and a fine or with whipping.

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