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14 arrested in crackdown on money-lending network


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Fourteen suspects were arrested for racketeering after police raided 30 locations in Bangkok and surrounding provinces in a crackdown on the “Yai Jeab” illegal money-lending network on Friday.

Immigration Police Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Surachet Hakpal said they were hunting for 28 wanted persons and aiming to collect incriminating documents and seize alleged ill-gotten assets.

The simultaneous searches led to the arrest of 14 suspects for racketeering and overcharging loan interest charges and the seizure of assets worth Bt205.5 million, said Surachet, in his capacity as deputy director of the National Technology and IT Crime Suppression Centre.

Among the locations searched was a house on Nimit Mai Road in Bangkok’s Min Buri district where police netted four male suspects aged 19-28, including Thanwa Polyiam, 26, who allegedly led a handful of debt-collecting thugs to threaten and assault creditors, he said.

Thanwa reportedly told police that his team earned Bt70,000 a month from working for the gang by collecting debts from some 100 creditors per day in Min Buri.

The gang’s alleged leader Kannikar “Jeab Min Buri” Chalongchan and her 14 subordinates were arrested in November last year in the capital.

She reportedly confessed to operating an illegal money-lending business that charged 20 per cent interest per 24 days, catered to about 400 creditors, and allegedly deployed violent debt-collectors.

Police suspected that the network led by Kannikar – who took up the business after her husband Pairoj Chalongchan was arrested in 2016 over illegal money-lending charges – had a sum of Bt100 million rotating each day and were linked to local and national politicians, said Surachet.

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