They used to be called standover thugs. In Singapore, they were employed in 2006 by the infamous Ang Soon Tong gang and today those in the clutches of illegal money lenders know their methods. In the US, these stand-over thugs were a feature of Tammany Hall politics epitomised by Mayor Daley in Chicago and lurid stories by Mario Puzo about the mafia.

We thought they had largely disappeared, but these methods have returned with renewed vigour in the US. This is a concern for all who want to do business in the US, or those who deal with others who do business in the US.

This is how it works.

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