House Speaker backs police crackdown on illegal online lenders

House Speaker backs police crackdown on illegal online lenders

House of Representatives (DPR RI) Speaker Puan Maharani. (ANTARA/Mutiara)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - House of Representatives (DPR RI) Speaker Puan Maharani has voiced support for the National Police's firm crackdown on illegal online lending practices, saying such practices are harming the community.

"Actions should not stop at the operators or the workers but must also reach the boss or the owner. If it is only up to the operators, there will be no effect for the owners, and they may re-open illegal loans by recruiting new workers," she said in a written statement received here on Saturday.

According to Maharani, police must catch the owners or investors of illegal online lending companies, even if the related individuals are foreigners.

She said she hoped the police and related institutions would continue to intensify the eradication of illegal loans that negatively affect the community.

"I appreciate the steps taken by the National Police chief and his staff to eradicate illegal online loans that have been giving trouble to the community. The elimination of illegal online loans must continue to be intensified until there is no report regarding people who are being intimidated and having their personal data misused," Maharani added.

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The House Speaker also appreciated the step taken by President Joko Widodo, who has asked the Minister of Communication and Informatics and the Financial Services Authority (OJK) to temporarily suspend new online lender permits to minimize misuse of the digital service.

She invited the government to complete the Personal Data Protection Bill (PDP) to prevent the misuse of citizens' personal data and give more severe punishment to perpetrators.

Because, so far, illegal lenders have only been charged under the Bill on Criminal Code (KUHP), the ITE Law, and the Consumer Protection Law, she explained.

"With the existence of the Personal Data Protection Bill (PDP) later, illegal online lenders who misuse the personal data of citizens will be given higher punishment so the punishment will be doubled," she said.

In addition, she also urged the government to continue to intensify digital literacy and financial literacy among the public to prevent citizens from falling victim to illegal online lenders.

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