Illegal online loan company raided in Yogyakarta, 83 employees detained

Yogyakarta (ANTARA) – West Java police have arrested 83 employees of an illegal online loan union operating in Depok subdistrict, Sleman district of Yogyakarta.

Yogyakarta Police joined the West Java Police Special Criminal Investigations Directorate in the raid and conducted a preliminary investigation at the scene, Yogyakarta police spokesperson Chief Commissioner Yuliyanto said on Friday.

“We have supported the West Java police,” Yuliyanto informed.

The 83 workers apprehended in the raid included a debt collector, a manager and two human resources workers, he said.

All were taken to West Java Police Headquarters for further investigation, Yuliyanto said.

Some of the employees are residents of Yogyakarta, and others were from other provinces of Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, he added.

“I didn’t ask them how old they are, but looking at their looks, neither of them are old,” he said.

Some staff members have been working for the company for a month, others for only two days, Yuliyanto said.

“They received a monthly salary of 2.1 million rupees, but some have not yet received their salary,” he added.

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During Thursday’s (October 14, 2021) raid overnight, police also seized 105 computers, 105 cell phones and other evidence from the company, he said.

West Java Police Special Criminal Investigation Director Chief Commissioner Arief Rahman said police received a report of an alleged victim from the lender.

Based on the police investigation, the online loan syndication was based in Yogyakarta, he continued.

Police have relevant digital evidence for further investigation of the case and for taking legal action against the suspects, Rahman said.

The illegal loan company used 23 apps, not all of which were registered with the Financial Services Authority (OJK) except one, which was used to deceive victims, he added.

“The arrest was made following an instruction from the Indonesian police chief to take tough action against online loan syndications which have destabilized the public,” he said.

Illegal online lending transactions have grown exponentially over the past two years amid the growing popularity of fintech applications during the pandemic, he added.

President Joko Widodo urged law enforcement to increase monitoring of illegal lending practices.

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Janet E. Fishburn