“Anyone who is debtor of these people, please come to file a complaint and record the details on the 4th floor at Phuket Provincial Police Station, or call 076-212046,” said a release issued by the Phuket Provincial Police.
“It is the way to enforce the law and help debtors from loan sharks,” the announcement said.
The call follows Col Santi Sakuntanark, Commander of the Royal Thai Army’s 25th Infantry Regiment and the highest-ranking army officer stationed in Phuket, leading a raid at a house in Moo 5, Chalong, at 6:30am on Monday
The raid netted six suspects wanted on a total of 21 arrest warrants issued by the Phuket Provincial Court for offences under the Excessive Interest Rate Prohibition Act, known on the streets simply as ‘loan-sharking’.
The suspects were named as:
- Somkiet Boonpeng, 28, from Chanthaburi, wanted on five arrest warrants;
- Chairat Charnapon, 23, from Trat, wanted on four arrest warrants;
- Tanakorn Srisuk, 22, from Samut Prakan, wanted on two arrest warrants;
- Komsan Prayatsap, 23, from Pathum Thani, wanted on four arrest warrants;
- Teerapon Suwannarat, 29, from Bangkok, wanted on two arrest warrants; and
- Nipon Nuanwara, 20, from Chathaburi, wanted on four arrest warrants.
Nipon was also charged with illegal possession of a Category 5 Drug after he was found with marijuana during the raid, while Somkiet and Chairat admitted to their part in the loan-shark gang, reported police.
During the raid, the officers seized 229 loan contracts, 636 business cards emblazoned with Roong Thongkam Ngantun (“Roong Thongkam Budget Loans”), a bankbook, a car and six motorbikes.
The six motorbikes were used to collect money and interest payments, police noted.
Col Santi told The Phuket News that a second raid followed on Monday, with officers raiding a house in Moo 1, Wichit.
“After receiving complaints, we found second place, in Wichit, which we raided at 7:30 am on Sept 3. There were 11 ATM cards and bankbooks at the scene,” he said.
However, Col Santi declined to reveal how many suspects were arrested in the Wichit raid.
“This case has been handed to Wichit Police. My job is done.” he said.
“All of them are under investigation by the Chalong Police and the Wichit Police, depending on where they were arrested,” Col Santi concluded.
Col Santi also declined to reveal how much money was involved in both loan-shark operations.
– Additional Reporting by Tanyaluk Sakoot