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Two Phuket loan shark operations shut down by police

Last Thursday, May 23, a 42 year old restaurateur and her mother reported an assault to Thalang police after two men wearing motorcycle helmets stopped in front of her restaurant on Thep Krasattri Road. The one sitting on the back got off, ran in and kicked food items off the table at the front of the restaurant. She told police the damages were valued at 1000 baht.

But the video of the incident was good enough for police to track down the attackers.

Two days later police arrested two men, 28 year old Natthaphon Leelachawanon detained in Soi Patak 9, Karon, and 30 year old Sitthiwat Janchoo, arrested at an apartment in Wichit. The two confessed to being hired by Narong ‘Yai’ Prateep Na Thalang, a known “loan shark”, for 3,000 baht each. Mr. Narong was later arrested in Chumphon province.

The pair face charges of property damage and “issuing threats”. And Mr. Narong has been charged with operating an illegal loan business with extortionate interest rates. All three were taken to Thalang Police Station for official charges and processing.

PHOTO: Phuket Hot News

Meanwhile, a 63 year old Belgian man, Philippe Camille G. Olivier, has been arrested at his residence in Soi Mangosteen, Rawai, following a search warrant issued by the Phuket Provincial Court. He was arrested on Friday for running an unauthorised pawnshop, conducting a personal loan business without a license, and charging interest rates way above the legal limit.

He conducted his business through Facebook, didn’t keep any paperwork, wasn’t licensed to conduct such a business and didn’t have a work permit.

Authorities confiscated 13 motorcycles and 15 debtor identification cards from Mr Olivier’s residence. He is currently detained at Chalong Police Station.

Mr. Olivier has admitted the motorcycles were collateral for loans ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 baht per vehicle, with “monthly” interest rates between 10 – 20%, far exceeding the legal cap of 1.25% per month.

PHOTO: Phuket Hot News

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