Mae Hong Son police arrest illegal moneylender in sting operation

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Police apprehended a 34 year old online gambler and illegal moneylender while he was collecting interest on loans.

Police officers led by Phasawint Kaewtai, the Police Chief of Mae Hong Son, along with Isarapong Apichai, the Deputy Chief of Investigations, and Thawatchai Surinta, the Commander of the Border Patrol Police Company 336, conducted a sting operation at 7.10pm yesterday, July 1.

They detained Pongdanai, also known as Jo, a resident of Chai Nat Province, confiscating 980 baht in cash, a Huawei STK-L22 mobile phone, a Honda Wave 110i motorcycle, an orange fabric shoulder bag, and a list of loan customers from a mobile application.

A police statement said the following.

“Jo, engaged in online gambling and unauthorised moneylending, was caught with a customer’s list while riding his motorcycle to collect interest.”

The police operation followed intelligence reports about an illegal moneylending gang collecting interest along the Mae Hong Son Airport Road in Pang Mu. Officers strategically positioned themselves in the area, eventually apprehending Pongdanai.

Pongdanai faces charges including operating a personal loan business without a licence from the Ministry of Finance, lending money at interest rates exceeding legal limits, and participating in illegal online gambling activities such as baccarat and slot games.

“Following the arrest of an illegal moneylending gang involved in a shooting incident during the Songkran festival in central Mae Hong Son, many loan defaulters have fled to avoid police action.”

The previous incident saw a significant number of borrowers default on their payments, causing at least four moneylenders to disappear, fearing legal repercussions. Despite these crackdowns, new gangs have emerged, reported KhaoSod.

In related news, cyber police raided and arrested an online loan shark charging exorbitant interest rates of 3% per day, threatening, shaming, and destroying the property of those who failed to pay. They seized numerous items of evidence.

In other news, police have apprehended Nong Noey, the ex-wife of the well-known influencer Keng Lay Phrang, for promoting gambling websites. She was caught at her home in Nakhon Nayok, having advertised these sites on her widely-followed Facebook page.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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