Viet Nam News
THANH HÓA — More than 200 people across Việt Nam have been trapped by a loan shark based in HCM City with total loans worth more than VNĐ510 billion (US$22 million).
Police in the central province of Thanh Hóa and Ministry of Public Security on Thursday announced results of the initial investigation into the illegal lending, saying it was the “biggest case of its kind discovered in the country."
The illegal activities of the company came to the police’s attention about four months ago when a young man working as a debt collector for the company’s branch in the northern province of Bắc Kạn died at Thanh Hóa General Hospital for severe injuries inflicted by his colleagues.
It was found that a loan shark - Nam Long Finance Company - has 26 branches nationwide and was offering loans with yearly interest rates of more than 100 per cent, with some at 1,000 per cent. When borrowers are late in paying the interest, they will be threatened, harassed, assaulted and have their properties stolen by the company’s employees.
Once working for the company, employees had to commit to paying compensation of VNĐ50-100 million (US$2,150-4,290) if they broke contracts and they were even told they would have their fingers cut off if they violated company rules.
In early July, the 19-year-old man - Nguyễn Văn Minh - collected debts from clients of Nam Long Company but did not transfer money to the company branch in the northern province of Bắc Kạn. He also stole a motorbike from the branch and then fled.
On July 9, the man was caught by other Nam Long Company employees in Sóc Sơn District, Hà Nội.
It was reported that he was taken to the company branch in Hà Nội for punishment. The company employees reportedly put a bowl of rice and a bowl of excrement in front of Minh and whenever he chose the rice, he would be beaten.
On July 10, he was taken to the company branch in Thanh Hóa Province.
Minh continued being beaten black and blue until he became unconscious and then he was taken to Thanh Hóa General Hospital. His colleagues left him at the hospital after seeing him die there.
According to Thanh Hóa Police, the illegal lending group is led by Nguyễn Đức Thành, 30, residing in Cầu Kho Ward, HCM City’s District 1 and Nguyễn Cao Thắng, 34, of Ward 15, HCM City’s District 10.
Thắng is responsible for mobilising capital while Thành is the company director running the “company business”, according to police.
Police started criminal investigations against nine suspects accused of “intentionally causing injury, kidnapping and illegal lending of loans with high-interest rates.”
Police arrested seven of the nine suspects, including Thành, while issuing wanted notices for two suspects at large. — VNS