Taiwanese loan sharks target migrant workers to lend usury, exploit and threaten them


A Taiwanese man surnamed Li in Taoyuan City operated an underground bank, violently collected debts, and targeted migrant workers for usury and forced signing of promissory notes. He exploited their language weakness and the difficulties of income due to the epidemic and the urgent need for turnover to squeeze at least 8 Indonesian victims. After the relevant units received the report, the Keelung City Police Department and the Taoyuan City Police Department cooperated and arrested Li, who is now suspected of Offenses of Usury, Offenses of Extortionand, Injury, and other crimes.

The key factor in the exposure of the whole case came from the report of the Indonesian migrant worker "Ah-Di( pseudonym) ". As a factory worker in Taoyuan, due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, his family in Indonesia fell into really serious economic difficulties. While he was trying to find a solution nervously, he met Li in an Indonesian store. The Taiwanese "Boss Li" told rhetoric, and let Ah-Di borrow NT$100,000 from him. Unexpectedly, Li only gave Ah-Di NT$88,000, and set an annual interest rate as high as 297.12%, made Ah-Di agree to pay NT$22,000 a month in 21 installments, which is equivalent to forcing Ah-Di to sign the promissory note, and he has to repay a total of NT$374,000.

migrant workers in factories

When Ah-Di is still paying the second installment, his factory suffered a severe reduction in orders due to the aggravated epidemic. As a result, his income has become thinner and made him unable to continue repaying his debts. The "Boss Li" brutally grabbed him and put in a van and threatened him violently. Afterward, Ah-Di took an opportunity to escape to a port in Keelung City and asked his elder brother who was a fisherman for help. Finally, they reported the case to the Foreign Affairs Division of the Keelung Police Station.

Ah-Di told the police that many Indonesian migrant workers' shifts in factories had been reduced due to the impact of the epidemic, which also made their salaries have dropped sharply, like his own situation. Therefore, the living expenses they sent back to their hometown in Indonesia are not enough for supporting their family. According to the police investigation, apart from Ah-Di, most of these migrant workers were threatened by Li, too. They used to meet with Li near the factory to repay the loan. If they didn't arrive on time, Li would not only verbally abuse them, but also drag them into his van and beat or kick them; If they were not able to pay the money, Li threatened to "report to the police" and "repatriate" them.

usury exploit threaten

(The police arrested the suspect who lend usury to Indonesian migrant workers, and then exploit and threaten them.)

Because the victimized foreign migrant workers were scattered in different factories, and there was a certain language gap between the Taiwanese police, the Keelung City Police Department and the Taoyuan City Police Department formed a task force, spent a whole year visiting Taoyuan and Tucheng Industrial Zones, and finally found eight of them. The victims were all Indonesian migrant workers. After a long period of tracking down and collecting relevant evidence, the police pinpointed the suspect Li who had no fixed address. They reported to the Taiwan Taoyuan District Court to issue a search and arrest warrant. Li was eventually arrested on the 16th of this month. The police also seized a large number of usury promissory notes from Li, all of which were signed by unidentified immigrant workers, which shows the number of victims.


〔Liberty Times News / Reported by LIN, Chia-Tung (林嘉東) in Keelung〕2023-03-17 17:45

〔CDN / Reported by CHANG, Shang-Keng (張上耕) in Keelung〕2023-03-17