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Vietnamese man detained for virtually running $420,500 loan shark ring

Vietnamese man detained for virtually running $420,500 loan shark ring

Sunday, September 17, 2023, 11:23 GMT+7
Vietnamese man detained for virtually running $420,500 loan shark ring
Pham Van Thong, a 32-year-old native of Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam, is questioned by a police officer. Photo: H.B. / Tuoi Tre

Police in Da Nang City, central Vietnam announced on Saturday that they had arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly masterminding a loan shark ring worth over VND10.2 billion (US$420,532).

The suspect was identified as Pham Van Thong, a native of Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam.

In June this year, police officers discovered some non-residents of Da Nang probably offered illegal lending services across varied provinces and cities.

Police probed into the case and found out Thong was the leader of this suspected loan shark ring.

After collecting sufficient evidence, police officers apprehended Thong on Friday and summoned two others for their alleged involvement in the racket.

Thong admitted that he had offered more than VND10.2 billion worth of loans for a combined 1,000 times to nearly 300 borrowers in Da Nang and neighboring Quang Nam Province since the start of 2023.

He made illicit gains of close to VND2.3 billion ($94,826).

Despite being the ringleader, he remained almost absent from Da Nang and operated the ring remotely.

Those working for him often posted information on social media platforms or stuck leaflets in public areas to promote their fast lending services.

The ring members mainly received daily installments via bank transfers rather than in cash, with annual lending rates ranging between 280 and 400 percent.

They also made phone threats against or even vandalized the houses of borrowers who made overdue payments.

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Hong Ngan - Doan Cuong / Tuoi Tre News

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