Police arrest suspects in illegal lending network across Thailand

Police across Thailand have arrested 29 alleged members of an online illegal lending network. Police from the Economic Crime Suppression Division said small-business operators filed a complaint that they had borrowed money from the website, and were charged unusually high interest rates.

When the business operators couldn’t make the payments, the websites’ operators sent men to intimidate them, according to police. ECD superintendent Colonel Phadol Chandon said there are several hundred victims of the website, and the site had about 450 million baht in circulation. He said some victims had become so stressed they even attempted suicide.

Eight suspects, all men, were arrested in Chanthaburi, Pathum Thani, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima and Bangkok. They were wanted on arrest warrants issued by the the Criminal Court earlier this week. The warrants were on charges of colluding in illegally running money lending services, and charging interest rates higher than legal limits, according to the commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau. The men’s ages ranged from 19-31 years old.

Police seized over 300 items from the 8 men including 54 mobile phones, 24 notebook computers, 2 computers, 4 tablet computers, and several SIM cards.

Police arrested another 21 suspects in Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Bangkok and Pathum Thani.

ECD investigators found that the website targeted small and medium-sized busineeses which lacked liquidity and could not get access to legal funding. Phadol said the investigation was extended to catch the crooks behind the website, and the website was ordered closed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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