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Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered authorities to keep a look out for loan sharks and report any suspicious activity to the authorities.
Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office Jirachai Moontongroy revealed that the premier had instructed his office to monitor the activities of informal creditors for loans with illegally high-interest rates.
There have been several cases of loan sharking reported through the government’s various complaint channels, including Damrongtham centers across the country.
Any informal lenders found to have issued loans with illegal interest rates will be prosecuted. According to the 2017 Act Prohibiting the Collection of Interest at an Excessive Rate, violators face a fine of no more than 200,000 baht or a jail term no longer than two years, or both.
Jirachai said his office has been examining complaints of loan sharking for common suspects and repeat offenders. In these cases, the loan contracts will be scrutinized according to the 2017 Act.
However, if the loan shark operation involves other investors, the penalties increase to a fine not more than 500,000 baht, a jail term no longer than five years, or both. The penalties double for civil servants.