15 loan shark debt collectors arrested

Police in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen have arrested 15 alleged debt collectors working for loan shark gangs believed to be reaping about 3 million baht a month in extortionate interest payments.

Pol Lt Gen Detnarong Sutthicharnbancha, acting commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 4, told a press conference in Khon Kaen on Friday that the arrests were in response to the order of the National Council for Peace and Order to clamp down on loan sharks and other illicit businesses.

He said police descended on eight locations in Khon Kaen. Most of the 15 suspects apprehended were motorcyclists who collected daily interest payments from debtors.

Police seized 12 motorcycles, lists of over 1,000 debtors who paid about 100,000 baht in daily loan interest in total, or 3 million baht a month, and many bank account pass books. 

"During the arrests, some suspects were carrying pistols and taking drugs. They face strict prosecution. Police will expand the arrests to loan sharks whose assets can be seized," Pol Lt Gen Detnarong said.

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