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Loan shark targeted SMEs with interest up to 47 times legal rate

CHIBA (TR) – Chiba and Iwate prefectural police forces have announced the bust of a loan sharking ring based in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward that that charged victims interest rates that were nearly 50 times that allowed by law, reports Jiji Press (Sept. 25).

Between last October and April, Masashige Takahashi, the 50-year-old president of Factoring, and 10 other persons allegedly extended a total of 5.3 million yen in loans to five entrepreneurs in Shizuoka and Tokyo at rates of interest between 13 and 47 times more than that allowed by law.

The ring targeted small to medium enterprises. Between 2017 and this year, the ring is believed to have extended loans totaling 3 billion yen at illegal interest rates to about 7,100 persons in 30 administrative districts nationwide in collecting 700 million yen in profit.

Masashige Takahashi (Twitter)

Police also accused the ring of extending loans without a license.