Eighteen loan sharks have been arrested for allegedly defrauding and blackmailing people who had borrowed money off them, demanding over 10 million yuan (.5 million) and real estate properties from the victims, Shanghai police said yesterday.
The 18 were among more than 170 suspects in over 30 such schemes who had been caught following a crackdown last year, police said.
In this case, a man surnamed Shi, who was one of the victims, reported to police last October that he had borrowed 100,000 yuan from the gang to settle his business debts but was told he owed 3.84 million yuan. Shi claimed he was constantly threatened with physical violence by the gang, whose members made him sign IOU notes stating exorbitant penalties if he failed to pay up on time, police said.
In another instance, a woman surnamed Xu borrowed 50,000 yuan from the gang and was told she had to pay back 300,000 yuan.
Police said the gang called their “company” Yongsheng, but the firm was never registered.