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Indonesian fintech borrower allegedly takes his life amid collection harassment

A report on Indonesian social media claims a Fintech borrower from PT Pembiayaan Digital Indonesia (AdaKami) took his life after alleged harassment by debt collectors.

The married borrower allegedly faced payment difficulties, leading to alleged threats and intense mental strain. The Jakarta Metro Police and the Financial Services Authority are investigating, while AdaKami seeks evidence before confirming the incident.

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INDONESIA: A deeply shocking and distressing report is circulating on Indonesian social media, detailing how a debitor reportedly took his life, allegedly due to relentless harassment by debt collection agents.

This distressing allegation gained widespread attention after it went viral on the Twitter account @rakyatvspinjol, sparking outrage and calls for justice.

The tragic incident revolves around an individual with the initial “K,” who had applied for a loan of Rp 9.4 million (US$600) from Fintech lender PT Pembiayaan Digital Indonesia (AdaKami) and later found himself obligated to repay up to Rp 19 million (US$1,200).

According to the Twitter thread, the victim, referred to as “K” faced difficulties in making payments and incurred late fees, which led to a campaign of harassment by AdaKami‘s debt collection agents.

K, who was said to be married and had a 3-year-old child, allegedly received intimidating messages and calls and fictitious orders for food deliveries and rides through online ride-hailing apps.

The relentless harassment allegedly took a toll on K’s mental health, ultimately culminating in his decision to end his life in May 2023.

As of February 2023, the average Indonesian employee earns a net monthly salary of around RP2.94 million (US$190), which can vary depending on the province.

The Twitter account @rakyatvspinjol initially brought this tragic incident to public attention, along with screenshots of messages and evidence of the harassment campaign.

The account called upon the Indonesian National Police, specifically the Metro Jaya Regional Police (Polda Metro Jaya), to investigate the case and hold those responsible accountable.

“TWITTER PLEASE DO YOUR MAGIC “I want to tell you about the brutal terror victim DC Pinjol Legal Adakami who ended his life by committing suicide,” wrote the account.

“@poldametrojaya my family committed suicide because they couldn’t afford to pay in Adakami. Terror and insults that led to dismissal from work made them worse off, incidents of suicide due to loans are not in UP because even large families are embarrassed to reveal the disgrace of the deceased. But this is true “Seriously. If so, many people have spoken up about DC Adakami’s behavior on social media, etc., so why not just reveal it? After all, the owner of this apk is clearly in Indonesia.”

Alleged screenshots of messages sent to the borrower were shared, showing how he was threatened with the disclosure of information to his immediate contacts if he didn’t make the installments.

Don’t risk your career and your embarrassed face in front of your co-workers and superiors, your self-esteem is lost just because of this meager responsibility, I MAKE SURE UNTIL 2 PM there is no responsibility for you, all the contents of the contacts on your cellphone “We will share your responsibilities, this afternoon I will make sure your family GROUP is full because of your responsibilities,” said one of the messages uploaded by the account,

Your ID photo, clear face verification photo! Do you want to pay now, or will I embarrass you? The price is the same as your bill or what? You pay before 12.00 on your bill! ” said another message.

If you don’t intend to pay, just be honest from now on, so that it’s clear, there’s no need to do this, we’ll lend you good funds, but this is your response,” wrote another message from a different number.

In response to the outcry on social media, the Jakarta Metro Police’s Directorate of Special Criminal Investigation (Ditreskrimsus) initiated a series of inquiries into the viral reports regarding the borrower’s suicide.

Chief Police Commissioner (Kombes Pol) Ade Safri Simanjuntak, the Director of Ditreskrimsus Polda Metro Jaya, confirmed that they had verified the information and urged the victim’s family, who resides in Baturaja, South Sumatra, to report the case to local law enforcement for a more efficient and effective investigation.

Ade Safri emphasized that the Indonesian National Police is committed to conducting a professional and accountable investigation, assuring that if criminal wrongdoing is discovered during the inquiry, it will be appropriately addressed.

The Financial Services Authority (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan or OJK) also took notice of the situation and summoned AdaKami‘s management to provide clarification on the matter. Frederica Widyasari Dewi, the Executive Head of Supervision of Financial Services Business Behavior, Education, and Consumer Protection at OJK, confirmed the ongoing process of gathering information from AdaKami.

However, AdaKami, in its official response to the incident, stated that it is still unable to confirm the identity of the borrower who allegedly took his life, citing a lack of identifying information, including name, National Identification Number (NIK), and location details.

They assured the public that they were actively investigating the case, collecting relevant data, and verifying the debt collection agent’s phone number mentioned in @rakyatvspinjol‘s post.

Jonathan Kriss, Brand Manager at AdaKami, condemned any form of violence and unethical collection practices, explicitly stating that fictitious orders through ride-hailing apps were not part of their company’s procedures.

He urged the public, especially AdaKami borrowers, to gather complete evidence and report any collection practices that violate ethical norms.

AdaKami also pledged to provide accurate information regarding the ongoing investigation and committed to taking decisive action if any form of violence or misconduct is found, as reported on social media in recent days.

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