Loan shark avenges debtor with fermented fish in northern Thailand

A creditor broke into a woman’s house in Phetchabun province, northern Thailand, and spread fermented fish all over her house and belongings. Police say the ‘loan gang’ could be prosecuted for break and enter if found guilty of the crime.

A 45-year-old single mother filed a complaint at Bueng Sam Phan police station yesterday after returning home to find her house overflowing with ‘Pla Ra’, or stinky fermented fish. Peeyanapa Khondee, the debtor, said she was sure the culprit was the loan shark who was suing her for money.

The smell was so rancid that Peeyanapa had to drag his bed and all his electronics outside to dry in the sun to get rid of the smell. To make fermented fish, the fish is mixed with salt and rice and left to rot for months, giving it an acquired taste and a very pungent smell.

Neighbors said they saw a black Mitsubishi pickup truck pull up outside Peeyanapa’s house when she was not there. A man holding plastic bags got out of the van and entered the house. Shortly after, the man exited the house, got back into his vehicle and drove off, neighbors said.

Prior to the incident, Peeyanapa said she and her three young children were forced to sleep over at a friend’s house for four days because they received threats from the loan gang and she felt unsafe.

Peeyanapa, who sells sun-dried fish at the market for a living, said she agreed to borrow 4,000 baht from a creditor and repay 200 baht a day at an interest rate of 20% per month . Peeyanapa said he received 3,600 in cash.

Peeyanapa was facing financial difficulties and could not repay 200 baht per day, so she requested an extension of repayments from the creditor. She didn’t say exactly how much money she owed.

The creditor denied his request, citing that the company had loaned money for 10 years, had not granted extensions and was “taken over” by the police.

Police told Peeyanapa that the loan gang could face charges for breaking and entering. Police said the creditor of the loan will be prosecuted if found guilty of breaching a clause in the debt collection law.

Peeyanapa hopes the police can help keep her and her family safe, as she fears the loan shark will turn to violence if she cannot make the payments.