SHANGHAI: Members of a Chinese “auntie gang” of debt collectors have been jailed over a reign of grey terror in which they menaced victims and even stripped naked to get them to pay up, state media said.
Fourteen of the senior enforcers received jail sentences of up to 11 years after being convicted of “organising, leading and participating in gangster-like organisations and for their provocative and disturbing behaviour,” The Beijing News reported yesterday.
About 30 women with an average age of 50 – some of whom met while engaging in the elderly pastime of dancing in public squares – took part in the scheme in Shangqiu, Henan province.
The sentences were handed down last month after a four-year spree in which the accused – hired by a property developer and firms that wanted debts paid – used strong-arm tactics to collect the money or forced people from their homes to make way for big construction projects.
They would shout at or insult debtors into submission using loudspeakers. When that did not work, they spat at them.
Some female victims had their clothes torn off, while men said the aggressive aunties would rip off their own clothes to imply they had been sexually assaulted.
One of the ringleaders, a blind woman named Gao Yun, told The Beijing News the nefarious scheme had been a “fun” way to kill time.
She added that the prime motivation was wages of 200 yuan (RM127) a day plus meals.
Source: The Star Online