Thirty-nine Thais and a Chinese national have been arrested in Pattaya allegedly operating an illegal loan service and offending the emergency decree to control Covid-19 and the Chonburi Disease Control orders around Covid-19 due to many people in a small place without proper social distancing measures.
A team of police led by Chonburi Provincial Police Colonel Eakkapop Intawiwat raided a building on Pattaya Second Road in Nongprue.
Police arrested Chinese national Wang Pei, 33, who described himself as a caretaker of the business. Police also found 39 Thais who were working on computers. All of them admitted that they were being hired by Mr. Wang. They received 10,000 to 12,000 baht per month in salary.
Police seized 39 laptops, 39 mobile phones, and various business documents. They were taken to the Pattaya City Police Station.
Colonel Eakkapop told The Pattaya News “These staffers called more than 100 numbers daily that were provided to them. They asked these people if they were interested in cash loans. They appeared to target people who had been hurt financially due to the Covid-19 crisis.”
“If anyone said yes to the loan offers they would be added to a LINE application and provided loan applications to apply for,” Eakkapop explained
“ If anyone did not pay Wang and his staff back with 2.57 percent of the interest in a short period of time, this loan service will call their friends, relatives, employers, or others from their phone book contact list, reportedly hassling and threatening them for the owed money.” Eakkapop continued.
“Mr. Wang admitted he was hired as a manager by a Chinese businessman named only as Chern for 10,000 yuan per month. This man is reportedly in China and Wang claimed he did not have good contact information for Mr. Chern.” Eakkapop stated
“The money for customers loans was directly transferred to their customers from China. They had given loan money at about three million baht per day.” Eakkapop said.
“Wang and the employees are facing charges of illegal operation of a loan business, taking over the Thai legal interest limit, and gathering together in a small place without proper disease control measures which offend the emergency decree and disease control order,” Eakkapop concluded.
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