Eastern European usurers busted in HCMC

By Quoc Thang   June 1, 2023 | 06:06 am PT
Eastern European usurers busted in HCMC
Police officers check the data stored on electrical devices belonging to usury companies in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Nhat Vy
Three usurers managed by two businesses in Singapore and run by the same Eastern European director were busted in Ho Chi Minh City this week.

HCMC police on Thursday summoned an unnamed man of Eastern European nationality on allegations he ran three usury companies in the southern city: Digital Credit, Fincap VN and Sofi Solutions.

Authorities said that while the three companies operate in Vietnam, they use Singaporean investment as their lifeblood.

"A corporation in Eastern Europe created two legal entities in Singapore, and through them invested in Vietnam [via these usury companies]," an investigator said.

While the three usury companies in HCMC were separate, they possess the same operation systems –including personnel, accounting, advertisement and customer support, among others. All employees of the companies work in the same building on Phan Ton Street in District 1, according to investigators.

HCMC authorities have repeatedly busted usury groups since March, and computers used by employees of the three companies in question are now being inspected.

On May 28, 55-year-old Nguyen Thi Tuyet, director of Digital Credit, and 32-year-old Truong Tuan Tai, director of Fincap VN, along with seven others who are key employees at the three companies in question, were arrested by HCMC police for usury.

Authorities have accused the companies of issuing at least two million loans since April 2019, totaling to over VND6 trillion ($255.4 million) and gaining over VND4.1 trillion as profit. Their lowest interest rate is 153% a year, hundreds of times higher than legally allowed.

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