Loan shark avenges debtor with fermented fish in northern Thailand

A loan creditor broke into a woman’s home in Phetchabun province, northern Thailand, and spread fermented fish all over her house and belongings. Police say the “loan gang” could be prosecuted for breaking and entering if they are found gill-ty of the crime.

A 45 year old single mother filed a complaint at Bueng Sam Phan Police Station yesterday after she returned home to find her house brimming with “Pla Ra,” or stinky fermented fish. Peeyanapa Khondee, the debtor, said she is sure the culprit is the loan shark chasing her for money.

The smell was so rancid that Peeyanapa had to drag her bed and all her electronic appliances outside to dry out in the sun in an attempt to get rid of the smell. To make fermented fish, fish is mixed with salt and rice and left to fester for months, giving it an acquired taste and a very pungent smell.

Neighbours said they saw a black Mitsubishi pickup truck pull up to Peeyanapa’s house while she was not there. A man holding plastic bags got out of the pickup truck and let himself into the house. A short while afterward, the man emerged from the house, got back in his vehicle, and drove away, said neighbours.

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Prior to the incident, Peeyanapa said she and her three young children were forced to sleep at a friend’s house for four days because they were receiving threats from the loan gang and she did not feel safe.

Peeyanapa, who sells sun-dried fish at the market for a living, said that she agreed to borrow 4,000 baht from a creditor and repay 200 baht per day at an interest rate of 20% per month. Peeyanapa said she received 3,600 in cash.

Peeyanapa was facing financial difficulties and couldn’t repay 200 baht per day, so she requested an extension on the repayments from the creditor. She didn’t say exactly how much money she owed.

The creditor refused her request, citing that the company had been loaning money for 10 years, did not grant extensions, and was “looked after” by the police.

Police told Peeyanapa that the loan gang may be liable for prosecution for breaking and entering. Police said the loan creditor will be prosecuted if they are found guilty of breaking any clause under the Debt Collection Act.

Peeyanapa hopes the police can help to keep her and her family safe as she fears the loan shark will turn to violence if she can’t make the payments.


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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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