Loan shark ring is cracked
Six suspects involved in a loan sharking case have been prosecuted, although three may also have been victims of the ringleader, Shanghai police said on Tuesday.
Zhang was invited by a former classmate, also named Zhang, to his home together with Wang.
Zhang (the suspect) let Zhang and Wang play an online gambling game and the two ended up owing more than a million yuan that they could not pay.
The unlucky losers were then taken by Zhang and two other men, Zhan and Lu, to meet Qian who made them sign an IOU for 3 million yuan and promised to settle their debt for them.
The two could only repay 700,000 yuan, and Qian sued them in court, whereupon Zhang and Wang went to the police and an investigation was started while the court proceedings were still underway.
Police found that the 3 million yuan Qian loaned to Zhang and Wang was forwarded to Lu’s account, supposedly to be passed on to the creditors who had "won" the money in the gambling game.
During the investigation, Qian sent a letter of complaint to the police, saying that the investigation had affected his lawsuit.
Police found that he had tampered with the original IOU. The original set a daily interest rate of 5 percent, but the note turned into the court as evidence set a monthly rate of 5 percent.
According to the law, a court will not consider petitions from creditors who lend money at exorbitant rates.
Zhang, Lu, Zhan, Qian and two other suspects were rounded up by police in December last year and have allegedly confessed to fraud, running an illegal casino and filing a false lawsuit.
Zhang the suspect, Lu and Zhan were also found to be victims of Qian, forced to prey on others to settle their own debts.