Loan shark bombs debtor’s house in southern Thailand

A loan shark allegedly threw a deadly military-grade hand grenade at a woman’s house in Phattalung province, southern Thailand, after she failed to meet repayments.

At 2pm yesterday, police were called to a house in Mueang district after a gardener discovered an explosive device in the grass. Police evacuated neighbours and called Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officers to the scene.

EOD officers identified the bomb as a deadly M67 grenade used by the US military. Whoever threw the grenade intended it to explode because it had already been detonated. However, for some reason, the grenade failed to go off. No one knows how long it was hidden in the grass.

The bomb disposal team took it to a rural location to dispose of it causing a huge controlled explosion.

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The 59 year old victim said it is not the first time she has been targeted. She showed police CCTV footage taken in August of an assailant riding up to her house on a motorbike with no license plate. The man fired a 9mm gun at her house before fleeing.

The gunshots caused damage to the house but luckily no one was hurt. The woman said that last year, a group of men threw homemade ‘ping pong’ bombs at her house. Again, she was not injured but left feeling terrified.

She explained that she took out a loan with a high-interest rate on behalf of her children from an unofficial loan creditor from the Kong Ra district. However, since failing to meet the repayments, she has been targeted several times. Now, she fears for her life so much that she has fled the province.

Last month, a hitman shot dead a 62 year old debtor on behalf of a loan shark in Phatthalung province and shot and injured another person. The debtor allegedly borrowed 30,000 baht with an interest rate of 30% per month and was killed when he couldn’t meet the repayments.

Thailand’s intimidating “loan sharks” go to extremes to try and get their money. In July, a loan shark broke into a debtor’s home in Phetchabun province and spread stinky fermented fish all over her home and belongings.

Taking out loans from unofficial creditors is not advised, but is often a case of desperation rather than willingness. Thailand’s household debt is at an all-time high and people are left feeling like taking out a high-interest loan from an illegal loan creditor is their only option, even if it risks their safety.


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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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