Suspected Vietnamese leader of ‘5-6’ loan gang arrested

The Immigration Bureau (BI) recently announced the arrest of a Vietnamese man suspected of being the head of a notorious gang involved in the “5-6” loan activity in several districts of Luzon.

The suspect has been identified as Vo Van Tai, 26, who was apprehended by BI Intelligence Division agents at Purok Rosal, Poblacion West in the science city of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, following a a mission order issued by BI commissioner Jaime H. Morente.

Two other Vietnamese nationals believed to be members of the gang were also arrested by BI officers. They have been identified as Vo Khac Binh and Vo Thi Mai, both 49 years old.

Vo Van allegedly led a syndicate accused of illegally lending money and physically injuring or kidnapping those unable to pay their debts. Vo Van reportedly moved their operations to various locations in Luzon to evade arrest and conceal their illegal dealings.

The arrest of the gang leader came after the BI arrested eight other gang members who were arrested in Lemery, Batangas on April 28.

The BI said last Sunday that its agents had discovered a fake BIR TIN identity card bearing a pseudonym in the possession of Vo Van. A previous complaint also flagged him for having numerous false documents to hide his true identity.

In addition to being labeled as undesirable aliens for facilitating the use of false documents, his two cohorts were also found to be undocumented and outnumbered. The three Vietnamese are now being held at BI premises in Bicutan, Taguig, pending deportation proceedings.

“These illegal businessmen are not welcome in the country. They do not respect our laws and at the same time sow fear and disorder in the community,” Morente said. “We will ensure that once expelled, they cannot set foot in the country again.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said earlier that interest in “5-6” lending activity is legal after the repeal of the usury law and removal of interest caps. However, the DOJ pointed out that operating a lending business requires licensing and other requirements.

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