Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Communication and Informatics Budi Arie Setiadi affirmed his commitment to eradicating illegal loans to complement his utmost efforts aimed at handling online gambling.

The minister observed that illegal online loans and online gambling are two intertwined illicit practices.

"Based on our review, investigation, and study, numerous victims of illegal online loans are players of online gambling. Therefore, we will completely eradicate illegal online loans and clean up the digital spaces from anything illegal," he remarked in Jakarta on Thursday.

Similar to the handling of online gambling, the Communication and Informatics Ministry will be working in coordination with related industry players, ministries, and agencies to protect the people from traps of illegal online loans, he explained.

Speaking in connection with industry players, he said the ministry will cooperate with cellular operators, internet service providers, and digital platforms, in its efforts to paralyze illegal loan activities.

"We will cooperate with all related actors, including the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and Bank Indonesia, as the supervisory agencies of the payment system," he noted.

The government has formed a special task force called the Task Force for Eradicating Illegal Financial Activities, involving officials from 12 ministries and agencies, including the OJK.

On September 5, Friderica Widyasari, OJK's Chief Executive for Supervising the Behavior of Financial Services Business Actors, Education and Consumer Protection, revealed that the task force had managed to take down a total of 1,339 illegal financial entities during the January-August 2023 period.

"The number comprises 18 illegal investment entities and 1,321 illegal online loan entities. We had shut down 737 illegal online loan entities in August of 2023, which is a significant increase (as compared to the previous month)," she pointed out.

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Translator: Livia K, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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