SONGKHLA: Police on Sunday raided a warehouse in Hat Yai district and arrested a man on charges of operating an illegal mortgage lending service.
The raid was led by Pol Lt Col Wankitti Tinnimit, deputy chief investigator of Provincial Police Region 9.
Armed with a warrant issued by the Songkhla Court, police found 28 pickups and cars parked in the warehouse and at a nearby house in Soi Pracha Ruamchai 1, off Kwan Pracha road at Moo 4 in tambon Khuan Lang.
A man identified as Aroon Khun-aksorn, 43, was detained for questioning.
Documents found in the house showed most of the vehicles were mortgaged to him but were still under a legally binding hire-purchase contract with a finance firm.
Mr Aroon was charged with unlicensed mortgage lending at an interest rate of 10% per month, or 120% per year, exceeding the legal limit of 15% interest per year.
He was taken to Hat Yai police station for legal proceedings.
Police warned that people who mortgage their vehicles while they are still under a hire-purchase contract may be viewed as committing embezzlement, because the vehicles were still owned by the finance firm.