Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti announced on Monday that the government had placed 111 online interest-based loan apps on a blacklist.
This decision followed a discussion initiated by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, concerned about the proliferation of such apps in the country.
Bugti mentioned that the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Wing had seized approximately Rs 1.8 billion associated with these interest-based loans. Legal actions have been taken against the individuals behind these mobile apps, and their cases are awaiting resolution in the courts.
He highlighted that the government swiftly initiated actions against unregistered apps with the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) once the issue surfaced. However, Bugti also acknowledged the limitations of the FIA in handling cyber-crime and underscored existing legal complexities.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmed had raised the issue, expressing worry about how these apps were ensnaring students and educated individuals. Initially offering loans with nominal interest rates, these apps later imposed exorbitant charges, trapping many borrowers.
The growing prevalence of fraudulent “easy loan” apps on platforms like Google Playstore and Apple’s App Store poses a significant threat. Despite their apparent ease of access without extensive paperwork, these apps have become a serious problem for numerous people.