Ecuador targets loan sharking

Posted on July 18, 2013 • Filed under: Crime, Ecuador, Social Issues reported that Ecuador started a campaign against loan sharking promoted by the Ministry of Domestic Affairs and the National Judicial Council that includes a rewards plan of up to USD $50,000 for identifying and providing information about individuals engaged in this illegal activity.

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Loan sharking is an illegal activity that violates the rights of people and relates to other crimes such as assassination and money laundering. Thus, the campaign will extend throughout the nation as of this month.
Loan sharks’ heyday in this Andean country started in 2001, according to data published this Friday by the Ministry of Domestic Affairs. However, it became a social issue over the past few years, once insecurity grew in the country’s main cities. Therefore, the campaign will focus on the provinces with greater incidence, such as Pichincha, Guayas, Manabí, among others, because between January 2012 and May 2013 340 complaints of loan sharking were filed.

Ecuadorians and foreigners are involved in this illegal activity that reveals the abuse and outrage faced by those who – in light of financial distress – turn to loans payable at exorbitant interest rates that are not allowed under the law, which violate people’s human and legal rights.

The phone line set up to report this crime is 1-800-335486. Promissory notes and checks are the most frequently used documents for loan sharking. Read Article

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