Thai government cracks down on illegal loans

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Illegal lenders have been given a final ultimatum: Register with the Thai government’s debt settlement programme by May 31 or face severe consequences.

Deputy Interior Minister Chada Thaised announced this stern warning yesterday, emphasising that this crackdown on illicit lending is a top priority for Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s administration.

Despite the Interior Ministry’s success in bringing over 100,000 illegal lending cases into the programme, countless creditors and debtors remain outside the system. Chada, a key adviser to the government committee addressing this issue, stressed the urgency.

“From now on, we will focus on making those creditors come under the law before May 31, which is the final deadline.”

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The government is committed to ensuring fairness for both creditors and debtors, aiming to integrate underground money into the legal financial system.

“Anyone who fails to cooperate will face strict action. This is the last chance for [illegal] lenders to do business legally. They have 14 more days.”

Chada urged illegal lenders to report themselves to local authorities or the police to avoid investigation by the Revenue Department. His remarks followed a meeting at Government House, chaired by Kittiratt Na-Ranong, the prime minister’s chief adviser.

The National Statistical Office estimates illegal lending to be around 50 billion baht, but the committee suggests it could be as high as 100 billion baht, according to government spokesman Chai Wacharonke.

The number of registrations for the debt settlement programme remains disappointingly low, reported The Nation.

Kittiratt Na-Ranong called on debtors to join the programme, highlighting that loans with interest rates above legal limits are considered void.

“By joining the programme, both lenders and debtors can be guaranteed fair treatment regarding their debts.

“Debtors who register can rest assured that they will get all the loaned money back at proper interest rates. Also, they can continue lending legally. Lenders who fail to register would be seen as not wanting their money back.”

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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