The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has narrated all that happened recently in its raid of online money lenders in Lagos.
The FCCPC in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and other related federal agencies over the weekend raided the premises of an illegally run Chinese-owned online money lender at two locations on Opebi Road in Lagos.
The joint task force is made up of the FCCPC, ICPC, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Information Technology Development Agency and National Human Rights Commission.
Speaking at an event to commemorate the World Consumer Rights Day in Abuja on Tuesday, the FCCPC boss, Babatunde Irukera, said the team escaped near riotous experiences.
Irukera, represented by Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, the Executive Commissioner, Operations of the FCCPC, said the faces behind the company must be uncovered.
“On the raid that we conducted on Opebi Street in Lagos, we discovered that this is much more serious than we thought it was.
“The hall was very big, each person has a computer with phone to reach loan defaulters.
“In the process, we took from them 119 laptops, eight mobile phones, one table phone and one hard drive.
“These devices are now with forensic experts and if we look at them and all the things that we can gather from them, we can now decide on the way forward.
“This is because there are faces behind these fellows.
“These are unemployed graduates who do not have any other means of livelihood.
“At the long-run, they tried to even riot against us for preventing them from doing what their job is.
“They said Chinese gave them employment and the Federal Government did not and the Federal Government said they should not continue with what they are doing”.
According to the Irukera, plans have been put in place to bring the loan sharks under regulatory control in Nigeria.
“We have to now look at how we can bring these people into the regulatory framework.
“This is so that we can now hold them to book.”
The FCCPC had served wide ranging orders on Google LLC (Play Store) and Apple Inc. (App Store) to enforce withdrawal of certain money lending applications from their stores.
According to the statement, the tech giants are expected to withdraw certain lending app firms where evidence has established inappropriate conduct or use of the application in violation of the rights of consumers.