TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have busted a loan sharking ring that charged victims interest rates that were up to 340 times that allowed by law, reports TBS News (June 12).
According to the Hachioji Police Station, Song Chun-bok, 33, and seven persons allegedly obtained 450,000 yen by charging multiple victims, including a 47-year-old woman living in Hyogo Prefecture, interest for loans at rates that were between 42 and 340 times more than that allowed by law.
The scam is dubbed “soft yamikin,” in which the latter term means black market lending. All told, the ring is believed to have used such means to collect about 180 million yen from 700 persons nationwide, police said.
For those who were unable to repay the borrowed funds, the suspects took over their bank accounts, which were then used in the operation. In taking over the accounts, the suspects attempted to evade a bust by law enforcement, police said.