Stiffer anti loan shark law now effective

Tougher anti loan shark law that imposes stiffer and severer penalties on loan sharks is now in force after it was announced in the Royal Gazette.

The new anti loan shark law was introduced to replace the old law which was enforced since 1932 or 80 years ago forbidding overcharging interest rates on lending.

Under the current situation, loan shark operation has brought about influential criminal networks under the guise of hire-purchase, quick cash loan now spreading widely on various websites. Such illegal activity is immoral and a threat to the peace and order of the country.

The new law will deal harshly with loan sharks who charge borrowers over 15% interest rate a year with penalties increased from a maximum one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of 1,000 baht to two years in prison and 200,000 baht fine at maximum.

However if loan shark operates as a capitalist, penalties will increase to five years in prison and a 500,000 baht fine.

Moreover if violator is state official, penalty will be doubled.

Besides, if loan sharks are state officials.

The new law however does not cover the application of anti money laundering law to tackle offenders as the National Legislative Assembly was concerned about possible persecution of lenders by unscrupulous officials exploiting the anti money laundering law.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)