Bangkok money-lending networks busted

Crime Suppression Division police raid a house of a suspect at a housing estate in tambon Na Wung in Phetchaburi's Muang district on Sunday in a series of an operation against six targets running an illegal money lending business in Phetchaburi and Suphan Buri provinces. (Crime Suppression Division photo)

Two major illegal money-lending networks were cracked down in a series of raids by Crime Suppression Division police on six targets in Phetchaburi and Suphan Buri provinces on Sunday, CSD’s 5th sub-division commander Pol Col Phumin Poompanmuang said.

Pol Col Phumin said the raids, involving about 50 CSD police, followed the government and the Royal Thai Police’s policy to do away with informal loans.

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The main target of the operation was a two-storey house on a 100-square-wah plot in Nathareeya Housing Estate in tambon Na Wung in Muang district of Phetchaburi, which belongs to Chanpen Kaewmeesee, alias Sai Jadtem, 32.

When a team led by Pol Col Phumin arrived at the house at about 6am with a search warrant, nobody showed up to meet them.

However, after a while, Ms Chanpen finally came out to see the police.  She was accompanied by Suradet Suksamran, 39, a member of Tambon Ban Lat Municipality Council. The woman allowed the police to conduct a search.

The police found in a storeroom on the ground floor ledgers and lending documents. Five pistols were also found in a safe on the second floor.

In a subsequent search of the office of Excellent Co of Ms Chanpen and a company building in Muang district, the police found 20 motorcycles and seized them for further examination.

Pol Col Phumin said the documents seized from Ms Chanpen’s house indicated that about 100 million baht was circulated in the illegal money-lending operation.

Of the five pistols, three belonged to Ms Chanpen and the two others to Mr Suradet. All of the weapons are properly registered.

Pol Col Phumin said Ms Chanpen confessed in a questioning to operating the illegal money-lending business for over eight years, with a startup fund of only 90,000 baht.

She was initially charged with illegally lending money and collecting interest rates higher than what is stipulated by law.

The other major network raided on Sunday was Cheep Development Co in Suphan Buri province, with over 4 million baht in circulation.

Pol Col Phumin said the two networks were not linked.

-The Bangkok Post

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