Illegal Loan Apps: 420 suspected operators arrested


A swoop by the Cyber Security Authority, in partnership with the Bank of Ghana and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), has led to the arrest of over 420 suspected loan app operators.

This was part of a combined cyber security committee operation in the Greater Accra Region.

The joint operation involved a raid of the premises of some suspected operators of digital lending apps at various locations around the region.

A statement from the authority said, “The three collaborating institutions launched a swoop in the early hours of Monday, July 10, 2023, as part of a Joint Cybersecurity Committee operation which resulted in the arrest of over 420 suspects”.

It added that the operators of these apps engage in cyberbullying, extortion, data and privacy misuse, and, in the worst-case scenario, death threats.

This comes months after the authority continuously advised the public to desist from subscribing to mobile applications not sanctioned by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Data Protection Agency.

It explained that it had received reports of cyberbullying experienced by users of digital lending mobile applications, which could be found on the Google Play Store or shared as Android Package files (APK) via social media.

It said these apps offered loans at varying interest rates and payment terms such that when subscribers defaulted in repayment, they were threatened by the owners of these digital lending apps with their identities published as wanted persons or fraudsters on various social media platforms and to their contacts.

The Data Protection Commission also cautioned the public to refrain from engaging apps listed by the Bank of Ghana as illegal loan apps.

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