Deeply in debt student threatened, seeks CSD help

Deeply in debt student threatened, seeks CSD help

The 19-year-old student from Sakon Nakhon, right, at Crime Suppression Division headquarters. She filed a complaint that she owed loan sharks about 1.9 million baht in total and was being threatened because she could not pay. (Photo supplied)
The 19-year-old student from Sakon Nakhon, right, at Crime Suppression Division headquarters. She filed a complaint that she owed loan sharks about 1.9 million baht in total and was being threatened because she could not pay. (Photo supplied)

A 19-year-old student sought help from the Crime Suppression Division on Wednesday, saying she had received threats to her life from a series of loan sharks she owed about 1.9 million baht in total.

The young woman, a vocational student in Sakon Nakhon, was accompanied by her mother and Sonthiya Sawasdee, an adviser to the committee on legal, justice and human rights affairs of the House of Representatives. Her name was withheld.

She filed a complaint with Pol Col Sanphet Noothong, a CSD officer in charge of investigation.

She said she initially borrowed 5,000 baht from a lender to invest in buying and selling pork to supplement her family's income during the Covid-19 pandemic. She was to repay the debt at the interest rate of 20% every five days.

Unable to find money to pay the debt, she borrowed from about 10 other lenders, one after another, all at high interest rate, intending to repay them in rotation.

She was to pay off the debts over different lengths of time - hourly, daily, every three days and every five days. Instead, she found herself in an increasingly difficult situation, unable to make the payments.

After five months, her accumulated debt was about 1.9 million baht including interest.

When she was not able to pay, the lenders - who included a son of a police officer and a school teacher - began applying pressure, approaching her both at school and at home and demanding money. Some had even threatened to take her life, she said.

The girl said she asked the money lenders for debt resettlements but they refused, insisting  she pay the loans back in full and with interest.

She eventually sought help from Mr Sonthiya, who advised her to file a complaint with the CSD seeking help.

The CSD accepted the complaint, agreeing to see what could be done to help her, including seeking negotiations with the money lenders on settling the debts and payment conditions.

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