According to a report by the Phuket Provincial Police, 17 of the suspects arrested face charges of providing loans that charge interest greater than allowed by law, with two more people arrested as accessories to the illegal loan scheme.
The report did not name any of the suspects or the shops or locations where the illegal loans were offered from, though one raid included a “Digital Shop” in Pa Khlok, where one suspect was taken into custody, and a home where many of the motorbikes were being held, at this stage on suspicious as collateral collected for outstanding loans.
Also seized in the raids were three mobile phones, seven specific loan agreements, a book with eight pages of customers’ names and details, and a daily record of payments received.
The raids were carried out after investigations under a national campaign to target illegal loan sharks, noted the report, with local operations carried out under Region 8 Police and under the command of Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen.
The report also noted that during the period July 13-31, police in Phuket had made arrests in 18 cases of illegal firearms and ammunition, 19 cases of illegal gambling and 299 cases involving drugs.