Infamous major loan shark Wichai Pun-ngarm detained after his surrender

An infamous loan shark who escaped police arrest more than two years ago has turned himself in to the Department of Special Investigation and was immediately booked at the detention facility at the Criminal Court.

DSI director-general Pol Col Paisit Wongmuang told the media on Wednesday that Mr Wichai Pun-ngarm, an alleged loan shark wanted by the authorities for extending informal loans to a lot of people and charging them exorbitant interest rates, turned himself in to DSI officials at the DSI head office in Chaengwattana area.

Wichai was immediately questioned by DSI officials and, later on, at about noon, he was escorted to the Criminal Court by DSI officials to seek court's order for his detention. The DSI officials also voiced their objection to his request for bail, fearing that he might escape and might interfere with evidence.

Pol Col Paisit said that the DSI's special case committee ruled on August 31, 2016 to treat Mr Wichai's as a special case to be investigated by the DSI because the suspect's illegal lending business under the name of V8 has a head office in Pathum Thani and has extensive network with 86 branch offices scattering throughout the country.

The DSI further disclosed that Mr Wichai's illegal organization employed about 2,000 employees and about 2,000 members, with more than 100,000 said to have borrowed money estimated to the tune of one billion baht from the gang.

DSI officials have, so far, arrested 47 key members involved in the illegal money lending business. About 800 million baht worth of assets which include cars, motorcycles, land plots and houses and bank deposits allegedly belonging to Mr Wichai have been frozen.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)