Jakarta (ANTARA) - The West Jakarta city government has said it is coordinating with bona fide savings and loan companies to expedite information dissemination to the public to prevent people from falling victim to illegal online lenders.

"We are coordinating to disseminate information on how to apply for loans in the right way," West Jakarta Mayor Yani Wahyu Purwoko said on Monday.

The mayor said the measure is necessary due to the prevalence of illegal lending practices. People are willing to borrow money from illegal fintechs, which charge high interest rates, thus making it difficult to pay back debt, he explained.

Oftentimes, customers face harassment ranging from verbal intimidation to threats, forcing them to pay the money back, he observed. He said he expected people to be more careful in using money-lending services.

"People need to be careful about this; they have to be vigilant. Understand what is good and what is not," Purwoko cautioned.

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On October 14, 2021, the Greater Jakarta Police raided the office of an illegal lending company in a shophouse in Cipondoh district, Tangerang city.

"Today, we carried out raids at PT ITN, in a four-story shophouse. From the raids, it is known that PT ITN used 13 applications. Ten of them are illegal applications," head of public relations for the Jakarta Metro Police, Senior Commissioner Yusri Yunus, said in Jakarta last Thursday.

Police arrested 32 people, including the company management and employees, during the raid, he informed.

"They were taken to the Greater Jakarta Police for questioning for the development of the investigation," he said.

He warned the public to not be easily tempted by illegal online loan offers.

"This is an example to the public; don't be tempted by this fintech offer, because at first, they offered a good offer, but then they ensnare their customers," he said.

Police also raided a shophouse in Cengkareng, West Jakarta, on October 13, 2021, which was reportedly serving as the office of a loan syndicate.

Fifty-six employees of the loan offering and collection department were apprehended and taken for questioning.

Police confiscated several pieces of evidence, such as 52 computers and 56 cellular phones, during the raid.

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Translator: Walda Marison, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Suharto
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