Tuesday, 25 January, 2022

Online loan apps exploiting youths

Online loan apps exploiting youths

Popular News

A large number of illegal digital microcredit apps are targeting young people and students to make hefty profits in the name of easy loans.

The apps include Tkala – Personal Loans Online (Tkala. Thala-0430 ), Cashman (Cashman-0514, Cashman-0326), RapidCash- Quick Online eLoans, AmarCash-Personal Loans Online, Cashkash-Fast Loans Online, CashCash, Quick Loan APK,  Shadhin,  Adhar and Card, PhonePe and Redmil.

The apps are running advertisements on social media to attract people to take their loans. If anybody borrows money through these apps, they have to repay more than the double the amount of the money borrowed.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) sent a letter to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) at the beginning of October to suspend the operations of Tkala, Cashman, RapidCash, AmarCash, Cashkash and Cashcash.

But the BTRC did not block the apps.

Muhammad Shariful Islam, deputy commissioner of DB Cyber and Special Crime Division under the DMP, told the Daily Sun that they discovered the six digital microcredit apps and arrested five operators between October 5 and October 6.

“After that, we sent a letter to the BTRC to block the apps,” he said.

Police are investigating the case filed with Dhanmondi Police Station in this regard, he said.

When contacted, Shyam Sundar Sikder, chairman of the BTRC, told the Daily sun that he was unaware of such a letter to block loan apps.

 “The BTRC does not monitor the apps as those are run through mobile phone sets. The Bangladesh Bank does so.”

However, only the BTRC has the authorization to block any mobile app.

 According to DB Cyber and Special Crime Division, any interested person has to download any of the microfinance apps and provide his or  her personal information,

 NID photocopy, mobile phone number and what not. After verifying, the apps provide loans from Tk 3,000 to one lakh.

 In the case of Tk 3,000 loan, they pay the borrower Tk 2,190 and keep Tk 810 in the name of various charges.

The borrower has to repay Tk 3,018 against Tk 2,190 within a week. In case of delay, he or she has to face fine per day.

“The money transaction is completely done through bKash and Nagad,” he said, adding that if anybody fails to repay the loan, he or she is threatened with court case.

AKM Hafiz Akhter, additional commissioner (DB) of the DMP, said that Chang Wang Chu, a Chinese national, is running the apps—Tkala, Cashman, RapidCash, AmarCash, Cashkash and Cashcash— from China.

It is still not clear how much money the e-loan apps took from the borrowers, but the law enforcers said they charged excessive interests from several lakh people, mostly students.