Police busted a gang of Chinese loan sharks yesterday who set up an illegal call centre from a luxury rented house in Pattaya, eastern Thailand, to chase debt from informal loans handed out to customers in China.
At 7pm, Chon Buri provincial police raided a two-storey luxury house in Moo 10, Nong Prue subdistrict, Bang Lamung district, after an investigation revealed that Chinese nationals were operating a call centre from the property.
Inside the house, officers found four men and one woman including 36 year old Fu Yin-ter, 41 year old Hu Xiaowei, 29 year old Lin Yongpin, 29 year old Ji Liu-ne and 35 year old Tang Wei.
Police seized eight laptops, 12 mobile phones, more than 50 sim cards and a list of more than 100 debtors.
Chon Buri Provincial Police Chief Pol. Maj. Gen. Kampol Leelapraporn said the gang rented the luxury house for 180,000 baht per month, using Thailand as a base to operate an illegal loan business with customers in China.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Kampol said that 36 year old Fu Yin-ter was the gang leader and managed everything from delegating tasks to his subordinates, finding a place to rent in Pattaya and hiring a Chinese woman to cook and take care of the house.
Loan sharks make their profits by handing out informal loans and charging extremely high-interest rates on the repayments. Police suspect that the gang made tens of millions of baht from their illegal transnational operation.
Police inspected all of their passports to find all five were living in Thailand illegally by overstaying longer than permitted. The gang claimed that they didn’t know what they were doing was illegal in Thailand.
All five suspects were detained for interrogation at Pattaya’s Nong Prue Police Station and will be prosecuted according to the law. Police said they will expand their investigation to find any more suspects involved in the criminal network of loan sharks.
Two weeks ago, the body of a female loan shark was found in a river in Chumphon Province three days after she never returned from a meeting with a debtor. The gold jewellery she usually wore, worth 220.000 baht, was missing.
In February, a loan shark in Phitsanulok claimed that a debtor shot herself in the head at his house due to “financial stress.”
In other cases, a loan shark shot a debtor eight times in the head, a loan shark bombed a debtor’s house and a loan shark broke into a debtor’s house and poured stinky fermented fish sauce over their belongings.
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