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Woman held captive for failing to repay debt, three arrested

by Natalie Leung


A woman who gambled away her money and failed to repay a debt was allegedly captured by three loan shark suspects yesterday but was later freed by police in the afternoon.

A friend of the 44-year-old captive reported to the Judiciary Police yesterday the alleged confinement that took place in a sauna facility centre in the Central district.

According to the police spokesman, two men and two women were found when police raided the venue where one woman was later identified as the captive and the other three people were the alleged loan shark captors.

The woman, a Hong Kong resident, told police she travelled to Macau on Monday and went straight to a casino where she soon gambled away her money.

She was then persuaded to take out a HK$60,000 loan from the three suspects in which she agreed to pay a 10 per cent interest of every bet she placed regardless of win or loss.

However, the police spokesman said the woman again lost the lump sum and was unable to repay the loan together with some HK$10,000 interest , and thus was held captive by the two men and one woman in the sauna facility centre.

The woman's identity card was taken away by the captors and she was told to ask her family or friends to make the repayment.

The suspects, surnamed Fung, Chan and Ho, were aged between 27 and 50 and came from Guangdong province and Hong Kong.

They admitted the alleged crime to police and will be sent to the Public Prosecutions Office today.

On Monday police arrested three suspected loan sharks from Hong Kong for allegedly kidnapping a mainlander who took out a 50,000 pataca loan and lost it at a NAPE casino.