Police crack down on rotating illegal lending scheme in Trang

Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) officers yesterday dismantled a major rotating savings and credit association (ROSCA) operation in Trang, arresting a married couple who were also running a comprehensive illegal money lending, and an unlicensed underground lottery gambling business.

Police Lieutenant General Worawat Watnakornbancha today ordered relevant authorities to execute a search warrant for a house in Ratsada District, Trang Province. They arrested, 29 year old Wuttiwat, and his 30 year old spouse, Wilaiwan.

The couple faces charges of possessing firearms and ammunition without permission, operating an unlicensed underground lottery gambling business, advertising to invite the public to join online ROSCA groups, and engaging in money lending with interest rates exceeding legal limits, under the 2017 Act prohibiting excessive interest rates.

Investigations revealed a Facebook account advertising public invitations to join online ROSCA groups and illegally accepting pawns of valuable items such as cars, guns, and land title deeds. The team found this account posting underground lottery tickets for sale, specifying prices and closing numbers, attracting many interested parties.

The posts were public, allowing general access. Moreover, the account tagged debtor profiles and publicly shamed them for late payments.

Police shut down illegal lending, and rotating savings operation
Seized items

The police discovered that Wuttiwat and Wilaiwan were involved in various grey businesses, including lottery betting and money lending. They gathered evidence and obtained a court search warrant which yielded three notebooks of underground lottery records, one notebook of ROSCA group records, fourteen loan agreements, twelve debt acknowledgement documents, nine gold hire-purchase agreements, and three money receipt agreements.

Additionally, they seized two firearms with over 60 bullets, one car, one land title deed, one phone, and four bankbooks, with total seized assets worth over 2 million baht.

Wilaiwan’s phone contained conversations about money lending, ROSCA group activities, and underground lottery transactions, including money transfer evidence. They used their own bank accounts for financial transactions via mobile apps. Wilaiwan admitted to managing the Facebook account and posting advertisements for her groups.

During preliminary questioning, the couple confessed that all the seized items belonged to them. They admitted accepting pawns of guns, pickup trucks, and some land title deeds, charging an interest rate of 10% per month or 120% per year. The loan agreements were between them and the debtors, with details recorded in the seized notebooks.

The authorities detained the couple and seized items, handing them over to the investigators for legal proceedings, reported KhaoSod.

Crime NewsThailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

Related Articles