Over 210 loan shark rings across Vietnam

By Ba Do   January 5, 2019 | 06:32 pm PT
Over 210 loan shark rings across Vietnam
A note of a loan-sharking ring near an industrial park in Hanoi that offer loans for workers. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Du
Investigators in Vietnam are tracking down 210 loan-sharking rings that are operated by more than 2,000 people across the country.

Financial activities conducted by unregulated institutions or under unregulated conditions have been expanding nationwide and do not stop at cities but spreading to rural and remote areas, Major General Luong Tam Quang, office manager the Ministry of Public Security, said Friday.

Quang also informed that those shadow banking systems have been operating under the skin of licensed businesses.

Those like debt collectors, finance firms and pawnbrokers usually run promotion programs or commissions in which they offer easy and simple procedures to access loans as a bait to lure poor people that do not have much experience or knowledge in the financial field, he said.

Incomplete statistics from the ministry revealed that more than 7,600 loan-related crimes have been recorded in Vietnam in the last four years, with both lenders and borrowers being affected.

Of the total, 56 were murder cases and the rest includes intentionally inflicting injury, robberies, seizing properties and assets using force, frauds and scams.

One of the most noteworthy cases took place in late November last year when the ministry and local police in the central province of Thanh Hoa took down the biggest loan sharking ring in the country that was run at all cities and provinces nationwide.

The ring operated under the cover of a finance company and the total loan that it had handed out amounted to VND510 billion ($22 million) by the time it was busted.

In some cases, borrowers are forced to pay interest rate at 1,000 percent per year and those that fail to pay will be beaten or forced to give up their assets.

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