According to preliminary information, a 46-year-old resident of Heraklion and two Albanians created a criminal organization for “crediting”. The amount of interest for a 5,000th loan could be 2,000 euros.
Two other detainees, 45-year-old and 24-year-old residents of Heraklion, involved in the case, ran a cafeteria in the eastern suburbs, allegedly engaged in large-scale money laundering.
According to Cretalive, police say the case includes testimonies from victims who were coaxed into recounting their experiences in “predator claws” driving around in Porsches, Jaguars and other luxurious foreign cars and dressed to the brim.
“Every testimonial is a painful story,” said Cretalive police source. It is alleged that those who were forced to borrow money from mafiosi for their own reasons later regretted it bitterly.
Each case was different, but in general, a loan of 5,000 euros could have interest of up to 2,000 euros per month. And if there were delays in paying interest, double and triple interest was introduced, even for 1 day. An amount of 5,000 euros could turn into 50,000 euros in the blink of an eye!
According to information from a local website, there were people who fell into need for health reasons due to the fact that they had to do some kind of operation on themselves or their children, and took out loans on usurious terms, “signed” their own sentence. There are allegedly people who, due to the pandemic, in order not to lock up their business (firms, shops, pharmacies, etc.), were also forced to borrow from the mafia in order to save the situation, and now they are bogged down in debts.
Sources say the pressure and threats were so intense that some had to sell their property to pay off “creditors”. The police arrested the gang members. The detainees will be taken to the prosecutor’s office.