Govt. of Pakistan has blacklisted approx. 111 online loan apps that provided interest-based loans, announced by Federal Interior Minister, Sarfraz Bugti.
The minister’s statement concluded a discussion initiated by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed concerning the proliferation of loan apps offering online interest-based loans in the country.
Bugti, serving as the interim security head, revealed that the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Wing had seized an amount of Rs 1.8 billion related to interest. Cases have been filed against individuals operating such mobile apps, and these cases are currently awaiting resolution in courts of law.
The minister explained that the government had initiated actions against unregistered apps with the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan as soon as the issue emerged. However, Bugti acknowledged the limited capacity of the FIA in handling cyber crimes and highlighted certain legal challenges.
Senator Mushtaq, in an earlier statement, expressed concern that numerous students and educated individuals had fallen victim to these apps offering online interest-based loans. Initially presenting themselves as providers of loans with nominal interest rates for students and the unemployed, these apps eventually subjected borrowers to exorbitant interest rates.
A concerning trend involves scammers launching “easy loan” applications on platforms such as Google Play store and Apple iStore. Despite the apparent ease and convenience of these loans, given their minimal paperwork requirements, these applications are proving to be a significant threat to numerous individuals.