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Tokyo cops: Loan sharking ring charged 42 times legal interest rate

Takeru Saso
Takeru Saso (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have busted an unlicensed money lending ring that allegedly charged interest rates far higher than allowed by law, reports TV Asahi (Nov. 2).

Beginning in April, Takeru Saso, 37, and 11 other members of the group allegedly charged 1.61 million yen in interest on a loan of 2.44 million yen to a 58-year-old company president from Saitama Prefecture. The interest charged by the suspects was at a rate 42 times that allowed under the Money Lending Business Act.

Saso, who has been charge with illegal lending, denies the charges. “I am not in the money lending business,” the suspect is quoted.

According to Fuji News Network (Nov. 2), the ring targeted small- and medium-sized enterprises in the Kanto area. In order to eliminate traceable evidence, such as bank records, the suspects handed money over to debtors in cash at places like coffee shops.