HCMC police raid F88 debt collecting firm

By Quoc Thang   March 5, 2023 | 09:28 pm PT
HCMC police raid F88 debt collecting firm
Police officers barricade an office building in HCMC's Go Vap District as they inspect the F88 debt collection firm, March 6, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Thang
Hundreds of police officers raided the F88 company in HCMC’s Go Vap District on Monday to investigate its use of "extortion" measures in debt collection.

Police officers of Go Vap District and HCMC barricaded a section of Nguyen Oanh Street as authorities raided the 7th and 8th floor of an office building, which is the headquarters of the F88 company, a financial firm that allow loans in large scales.

Authorities said the F88 company has hundreds of employees working as debt collectors, threatening debtors and showing signs of extortion.

F88, formed in 2013, claimed itself as the fastest-growing financial service provider in Vietnam. It has 830 branches throughout the country.

Last month, police of the central province of Thanh Hoa had discovered violations at pawnshops of the F88 branches in numerous wards. Violations included mismanagement of data and insufficient business activity reports.

Despite the fact that the pawning and loaning interests of F88 fall within the thresholds allowed by the State Bank of Vietnam, the firm requires its customers to pay multiple fees upon completing procedures, with some whose interests go up to 5% a month, Thanh Hoa police said.

Police forces have been busting multiple debt collecting organizations in recent times, with authorities estimating that hundreds of thousands of people have been terrorized by them.

On Feb. 14, police raided the Phat Viet law firm in HCMC's Tan Binh District and caught 133 people working as debt collectors. Hundreds of PCs, laptops and mobile phones were seized as evidence.

Hanoi police on Sunday arrested 31 people running a debt collection ring involving 330,000 lending contracts worth thousands of billions of bad debt. The ring employed people to make threatening phone calls to the debtors, as well as their families, customers and colleagues, and post their fake pornographic photos on social media to intimidate and exert pressure on them.

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