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Posted by nelson on August 08, 2017

PJ counter terrorism police have identified a gang of Chinese ‘loan sharks’ who allegedly ‘worked’ Lisbon Casino, meting out extreme violence to those who could not pay them back according to strict time schedules.

One victim, a Chinese ‘millionaire’ - resident here on a Golden Visa - alerted police after he was beaten, robbed and held hostage in his home.

His alleged attackers are now awaiting trial - four of them in jail.

Says Correio da Manhã, the combined charges of criminal usury, kidnap, aggravated extortion, GBH and theft could see the three men and two women given prison sentences of “not less than 15 years”.

The gang are in Portugal legally, though the men and one of the women are reported to have criminal antecedents in this country of “the same type of crimes”.

The alleged ‘loan-sharking’ involved lending habitual gamblers large sums of money, payable with elevated rates of interest.

According to CM, the millionaire whose case unmasked the gang is a compulsive gambler who borrowed money in the early hours of one morning because he didn’t have ‘easy access’ at that moment to his own funds.

One of the women arrested has been released on the lowest form of bail (reporting regularly to police) as she is the only defendant without a criminal record.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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