LOAN sharks in the farming town of Mvurwi are reported to be employing tactics of targeting businesses struggling with cash flow problems of restocking their supplies, H-Metro has learnt.
The sharks also known as chimbadzo in local dialect are taking advantage of the instability of the foreign currency rates on the local money market to hoodwink businesspeople whom they know have properties or land.
As is the norm when disbursing their funds where properly registered loan sharks demand collateral and other guarantees, these sharks deliberately forgo such necessities in anticipation of the customer failing to service his or her debts as a result of the fluctuating rates on the money market.
One of the businessman from Mvurwi, Linos Chikwanha whose business has been struggling to restock supplies and fell prey to these loan sharks said they have sophisticated their art of swindling.
“These loan sharks charge high interest rates and they will be aware that your business is momentarily struggling but you are backed up by other immovable and movable properties,” said Chikwanha.
He said that is when they dangle the offer of propping up your businesses.
“They do not demand any collateral or guarantees to avail their monies, but they work on speculative tendencies where they start demanding their monthly dues when rates start sky rocketing on the money markets. “They will know that you will default along the way as the money markets becomes uncertainty that is when they violently demand their monies or alternative properties,” he said.
Another victim Tobias Jonasi said he borrowed money from one illegal money lenders, popularly known in the area as Ba Shupi, so that he could purchase some stuff from China.
“As fate could have it, the shipment with my goods from China was damaged along the way and to add to that, they were not insured, so in other words I lost all the goods which put me in a fix, in as far as repayment of the loan to the money lender was concerned,” he said.
Jonasi said the money lender on learning of the fate, immediately demanded the whole sum which he had loaned back with interests or alternative properties instead.
“After I failed to service his demands, he forcibly took away my residential stand and a motor vehicle,” he said.
He bemoaned the unavailability of proper paper trail when entering into such transactions with these unregistered loan sharks
“The problem is that these loan sharks pounds when they know that you are on your weakest point and in dire need of the money and the absence of proper documentation renders the case invalid to the law enforcement agencies”.
Jonasi advised possible victims to desist from taking ‘loans’ whether the sharks do not charge interest or not as it was a deliberate ploy to take their properties once they default in their payments.
Efforts to get a comment from one of the known loan sharks in the area proved fruitless after he continuously ignored the calls.