The Government’s Role In Protecting Citizens From Illegal Online Loans
The community has recently become aware of the practice of illegal online lending. Some people had the false assumption that online loans from financial technology (fintech) companies could help solve their financial problems. However, on the contrary, the illegal practice of online loans damages society by insulting and threatening it.
These individuals behind the illegal lending practice often operate under the guise of cooperative legal entities to persuade people facing financial difficulties.
Consequently, various social problems arise in the community. Some depressed victims cannot handle the pressure of debt collectors and ultimately decide to commit suicide.
To this end, the help of the government is needed to protect the community against the threats and dangers of illegal online loans.
Related article: The government will revoke the permits of cooperatives that operate illegal online loans
The Indonesian National Police (Polri) had also previously stated that the trend of illegal loans was very damaging to the community.
The head of Polri’s Public Relations Division, Inspector General Dedi Prasetya, claimed that the police had paid particular attention to the illegal way of online loan collection, which was often carried out under threat.
They also manipulated customer photos to look inappropriate and then distributed to the customer’s co-workers and family as a threat to pay off their debt immediately.
Clients often became stressed, ill and also committed suicide because they couldn’t handle the pressure, Prasetya noted.
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Taking action against the threat of illegal online loans is a form of affirmation and victim protection by the government, especially the police.
The Director of Special Economy Crimes Execution of the National Police Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) Brigadier General Whisnu Hermawan Februanto commented that a foreign national named WJ, alias JHN, was involved in the illegal loan case.
Through the payment gateway company called Flinpay and the jointly owned cooperative called Inovasi Milik Bersama, the suspect recruited illegal loan lenders and established illegal savings and loan cooperatives.
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The head of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) Investment Oversight Working Group, Tonggam L. Tobing, noted that at present, 104 fintech companies have 772,534 accounts, with a total pending distribution of 26.098 trillion rupees.
Tobing claimed that the high number of online lending companies was due to easy access to the website, while the police had struggled to root them out as they had multiple servers stationed in foreign countries.
From the perspective of the victims, the rise in illegal loans is due to their lack of understanding of the legality of businesses and their urgent financial needs.
Since 2018, the Task Force had canceled 3,631 illegal online loans. Tobing revealed the characteristics of illegal loans, such as not having an official permit, not having an administrative identity and a clear office address, offering an easy loan process that only required an identity card, a photo of the borrower and a number of bill.
The illegal online loan also does not provide clear information about the loan costs and the penalty. The companies also had access to customers’ phones.
To this end, Tobing provided tips for dealing with online loans. He urged people to only borrow money from OJK-registered fintech companies and to borrow according to their needs and abilities, as well as for productive purposes.
For people already dealing with loans online, Tobing suggested reporting issues via email to [email protected] People who are in debt with online loans are not suggested to look for a new loan to pay off their old debt.
People who received inappropriate threats from a debt collector can block the number the threats were sent from and inform all of their contacts to ignore messages related to their debt. It was also suggested to report the number of the debt collector to the police.
Social observer Dr. Devie Rahmawati pointed out that the reason behind people using illegal loans online is due to their higher needs with low income, excessive consumption of the digital society and their negligence and weak knowledge in the financial area.
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The elimination of the cooperative registration number
Due to various illegal lending practices under the names of cooperatives, the Ministry of Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MIPYMES) would eliminate and cancel the Cooperative Registration Number (NIK) owned by the Savings and Loan Cooperative that practiced illegal loans. online.
Cooperatives deputy from the Ministry of Cooperatives and MSMEs, Ahmad Zabadi, spoke that his side has made serious efforts to combat the existence of illegal online lending practices that use the savings and loan cooperative as their disguise.
These illegal practices can tarnish the positive image of cooperatives and reduce the level of public trust in cooperatives in Indonesia.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Cooperatives and MSMEs had met with the Central Board of the Indonesian Notaries Association (PP-INI) not to immediately issue a cooperation deed without clear verification.
This effort is a follow-up to the various notaries who authorized the Cooperativa de Ahorro y Priento deed that was later used for illegal online lending practices.Related news: DPD speaker expresses support for police crackdown on illegal loans
A notary was able to authorize eight to 40 deeds of establishment from 2020 to 2021.
The Ministry of Communications and Informatics had also sent a letter to the General Directorate of Informatics Applications to adjust the new requirements for the savings and credit cooperative that had permission as an electronic system operator (PSE).
This is in accordance with the Regulation of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics Number 5 of 2020 on the Private Scope of Electronic Systems Operators. The new regulation requires cooperatives to comply with the permit if they seek to operate as a PSE.
As regulated in article 104, subsection (2) of the Regulation of the Ministry of Cooperatives and Mipymes Number 9 of 2018 on Organization and Development of Cooperatives, it established that âCooperatives that organize savings and credit businesses are required to have a savings and loan business license issued by authorized official “.
Zabadi and his team had searched the One Office building in South Jakarta used by approximately 20 credit unions that conduct illegal online lending business practices. His side has also sent a team to search for various virtual office buildings used by other Savings and Loan Cooperatives.
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His team had also investigated the Space Inc building in west Jakarta and the Thamrin city building in central Jakarta.
The two locations were used as virtual office addresses by seven credit unions that conducted illegal online lending business practices.
Based on the results of the team’s investigation into the location, information was obtained that some cooperatives had indeed rented a virtual office at that address, but did not extend the rental period.
In addition, there were several illegal online loan companies that used fake addresses as offices.
Such facts call for government action to protect its people from the threat of illegal online loans.
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