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Chiba cops: Loan sharking ring charged interest 90 times legal rate

Hiroshi Matsudo
Hiroshi Matsudo

CHIBA (TR) – Chiba Prefectural Police have busted a loan sharking ring that charged victims interest rates that were more than 90 times that allowed by law, reports TBS News (July 20).

Over a three-month period ending in March, Hiroshi Matsudo, a 37-year-old resident of Matsudo City, and two other persons allegedly obtained 430,000 yen by charging five victims, including a 44-year-old man living in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, interest for loans at rates that were between 52 and 91 times more than that allowed by law.

All three suspects admit to the charges.

The scam is dubbed “soft yamikin,” in which the latter term means black market lending. In carrying out the ruse, the suspects using a register of names of persons with existing debts and offering them loans by telephone to pay them off. In an attempt to not leave behind incriminating evidence, the ring used rental mobile phones, according to TV Asahi (July 21).

Between January of last year and April of this year, the suspects are believed to have collected a total of 100 million yen from 1,300 victims using the scam.