16 Indian nationals nabbed in Sultan Kudarat

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 28 September) — At least 16 alleged undocumented Indian nationals supposedly engaged in a usurious lending scheme were arrested in simultaneous operations in Sultan Kudarat province, a Bureau of Immigration (BI) official confirmed Saturday.

Julius Jamorabon, BI GenSan chief, said the foreigners were arrested Friday during simultaneous raids in the town of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat’s capital.

“They will still be subjected to verification and if it will be found they lack the necessary papers, they could face deportation proceedings,” he told MindaNews in a telephone interview.

Jamorabon said the arrested Indian nationals were brought to the BI’s office in Davao City late Friday afternoon.

The operation against undocumented foreign workers in Sultan Kudarat province was jointly conducted by BI operatives, police and the military.

Jamorabon said the Indian nationals were allegedly engaged in 5/6 lending, a usurious scheme where a P500 principal loan will yield a monthly interest of P100, or P600 total payment.

They were also reportedly financing appliances and other items with interest, he added.

Indian financiers here are often referred to as “Bombays” and dubbed as loan sharks. They are mostly patronized by small businessmen and poor families since they do not demand legal documents or collaterals unlike banks or other financial institutions.

Some of the arrested Indian nationals were operating up to neighboring Maguindanao province. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews