Three Nigerian authorities worked jointly with the country’s police force to raid several allegedly illegal digital loan businesses operating in Lagos on Friday.
According to TechCabal, digital lending platforms GoCash, Okash, EasyCredit, Easi Moni, KashKash, and Speedy Choice were among the busted companies.
The operation was led by Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC). FCCPC said that the raid was a response to several customers’ complaints about the alleged malpractices carried out by the financial institutions, according to reports.
The CEO of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, said that they have been investigating these companies in 2022 since customers started complaining about alleged violations of their private data.
“This information started quite a while ago. When the country was on lockdown in 2020 due to the pandemic, we started seeing the rise of money lenders,” Irukera said.
“Because of the lockdown, people needed small and instant loans to sustain, which is understandable. But, over a period of time, people started to complain about the malpractice of the lenders so we started tracking it,” he added.
The FCCPC CEO also mentioned that they started working with other key agencies to collect solid evidence towards the end of last year.
According to their findings, the interest rates charged by digital loan companies appear to violate the ethics of how loan lending works, and that the loan companies had indeed violated the private information of customers by sharing them with third parties.
“So, we started an investigation trying to determine the location of these firms, which has been very difficult. These companies move around a lot, and it took us several months visiting each of their locations,” Irukera said.
The investigations further revealed that the loan firms weren’t registered in the country. They don’t have addresses or businesses licenses registered in Nigeria. They were also somehow operated by the same person in someplace that the authorities didn’t specify.
By Zintle Nkohla
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