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Russian Police Seek Debt Collectors Who Trapped a Man for 24 Hours

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Police in Russia’s central Saratov region are hunting for private debt collectors who trapped a man in his own home for more than 24 hours in a bid to extort money.

The bailiffs threatened the debtor and his family via text message before arriving at his apartment on Oct. 26, according to police.

The debt collectors then trapped the man in his home until he made a payment of 7,000 rubles ($110).

The victim is believed to have taken out a loan from a micro-finance company in 2013, which he did not fully repay. Bailiffs accused the man of owing the firm some 70,000 rubles ($1,100)

Read more from The Moscow Times: Russia's Debt Collectors Bringing Back the Brutality of the 1990s.

In July, Russia's State Duma pushed through new laws to curb private collection agencies, after a string of high-profile scandals related to firms across the country.

Incidents included a child being injured after a Molotov cocktail was thrown by a collector into a home in Ulyanovsk this January. Also, in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, debt collectors even raped a woman who fell behind on her loan repayments.

Individual collectors must now be registered with the state, and a claimant may directly communicate with a debtor through personal meetings no more than once a week. The law also limits the number of phone calls and written messages creditors can send per day, week, and month.

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