HCMC police probe Singapore firm for usury

By Quoc Thang   June 6, 2020 | 09:00 am GMT+7
HCMC police probe Singapore firm for usury
Police are seen at the office of Cashwagon Co. Ltd and Lendtech Co. Ltd in HCMC's District 1 on June 2, 2020. Photo courtesy of the police.

Two HCMC-based companies owned by a Singapore group are being investigated following reports their Vietnamese managers lent money at unreasonably high interest rates.

The two firms in question are Cashwagon Co. Ltd and Lendtech Co. Ltd, operating at 17-19 Ton That Tung Street in District 1.

They are being investigated in accordance with the Penal Code for "providing loans in civil transactions at unreasonably high interest rates."

According to the police, the two firms are actually one firm operated by Singporean group Cashwagon Pte. Ltd.

On paper, Lendtech operates in the business of pawning and offering loans to individual customers, while Cashwagon is an online financial consultant.

Cashwagon receives and appraises loan documents via its website or mobile apps and approves loans of between VND500,000 and VND10 million ($21-429) for individual customers at monthly interest rates of 22-44 percent, depending on the term of the loan. Commercial banks in Vietnam give out loans at approximately 7 to 28 percent interest per annum.

The borrowers’ files are then transferred to Lendtech Co. Ltd, which will give out the loans, Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang, 34, CEO of Cashwagon in Vietnam, told the police.

In Vietnam, Lendtech is represented by Chau Minh Quang, 43, and its director is Nguyen Tuyet Hoa, 30.

The firms’ earnings are divided between the two, with Cashwagon getting a bigger proportion. Other employees of Cashwagon provided the same information as Hang.

Police have seized the bank accounts of both companies and asked the bank to provide transaction statements to facilitate the investigation.

 
 
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