"From a civil point of view, we consider that they do not meet the requirements. Especially the subjective requirements, because there are some things, and then the second is, on a criminal law stance, there are alternatives as we have said," the minister said at an online press conference in Jakarta on Friday.
The owners of illegal fintechs can be charged under the Electronic Information and Transactions Law and the law pertaining to pornography given that they often share inappropriate photos of their customers on social media platforms, Mahfud said.
Legal action will be taken against such companies according to the applicable law, he informed.
"There is Article 27, Article 29, Article 32. Now, Article 27, for example, (covers) the distribution of obscene photos or pornographic photos that are spread to threaten people into embarrassment (so they pay back loans), and many of these cases will be followed up later," he explained.
Related news: Ministry blocks 151 unlicensed fintech P2P lenders
"We have formulated the legal reasons and we have stipulated them. Later, let the debate be in the legal process, because of course, there will be (some who would agree) and (some who would) not. But the government wants to be present to save the people from extortion and threats," Mahfud elaborated.
The government is serious and has shown its commitment to addressing issues concerning illegal online loans by following up on cases involving the loans and taking firm action against perpetrators, he said.
"The government wants to be here to save the people from blackmails and threats," he added.
He urged the victims of illegal online lenders to report them to the police if they receive threats.
"Victims must gain the courage to report to the police. The police will provide protection. If later more specific protection is needed, it can be done by the Witness and Victim Protection Agency, all of which are provided as instruments of the law," he added. (INE)
Related news: How illegal online companies ensnare youths looking for jobs
Related news: West Jakarta Police probe two reports of illegal online loans