Police in Vietnam’s Central Highlands have broken up two groups of loan sharks who required their debtors to pay interest rates of up to 720 percent a year.
The first gang included 14 members and was led by 33-year-old Nguyen Quang Toan, officers in Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province confirmed on Thursday.
Their headquarters was a rented house in Tan Tien Ward in Buon Ma Thuot.
They advertised their services by posting leaflets along multiple streets in the city.
Potential debtors would use the provided phone numbers to contact the illegal lenders so that men could be sent to their houses to review their personal information and evaluate their financial capacity.
Loans were offered at interest rates of between 180 and 720 percent yearly.
The second group of loan sharks was operated by Tran Van Tiep, 23, and Tran Van The, 20, who both stayed at a rented house in Thanh Nhat Ward.
Tiep was in charge of creating accounts on their website to supervise the loans, while The managed the debtors, money, and their daily spending.
The racket required borrowers to pay interest of 180 to 360 percent a year.
They would terrorize and threaten their debtors when they failed to pay up on time.
Police investigation showed that the two groups had lent their money to nearly 500 people in Buon Ma Thuot City from April to August, with transactions totalling more than VND5 billion (US$216,400).
Officers have arrested nine people from the two gangs and are expanding their investigation.