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Jakarta Post

Man commits suicide to escape 'devil's trap' of debt from fintech firms

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, February 12, 2019   /   02:23 pm
Man commits suicide to escape 'devil's trap' of debt from fintech firms Residents of a South Jakarta neighborhood were shocked to discover a man had decided to end his life in a local rooming house because of piling debt from app-based lending platforms.  (Shutterstock/-)

Residents of Jl. Mampang Prapatan in South Jakarta were shocked to find that a man had decided to end his life in a kost (rooming house) in the area.

The man, a taxi driver named Zulfadli, 35, was found dead of an apparent suicide in friend’s room on Monday. He had reportedly left a note explaining that he could no longer face the piling debt from online lending platforms.

His colleague, named Nardi, 22, told police that Zulfadli had visited him on Sunday evening, asking to stay the night. They both work for private taxi company Blue Bird.

“He said he wanted to stay over because he could not sleep in Blue Bird’s dormitory,” Nardi said on Monday as reported by wartakota.tribunnews.com.

Nardi let Zulfadli stay in his room that evening as he went to work as a car washer in the company. When Nardi returned home the next morning at 9 a.m., he said he found his room locked. He knocked several times yet there was no answer.

He reportedly decided to break into his room and found Zulfadli’s lifeless body.

Mampang Police crime investigation unit head First. Inspector Anton Prihartono said that according to several witnesses, Zulfadli had looked healthy when he arrived at Nardi’s rooming house.

“He did not show any strange behavior, nor did he complain about anything,” Anton said.

Investigators reportedly found a handwritten note from Zulfadli that said he was sorry for being a burden to many people. It also included a message to his wife and children, as well as a plea to the Financial Services Authority (OJK) to put a stop to app-based lending companies, which he referred to as a “devil’s trap”.

Investigators reportedly found a handwritten note from Zulfadli that said he was sorry for being a burden to many people. It also included a message to his wife and children, as well as a plea to the Financial Services Authority (OJK) to put a stop to app-based lending companies, which he referred to as a “devil’s trap”.Investigators reportedly found a handwritten note from Zulfadli that said he was sorry for being a burden to many people. It also included a message to his wife and children, as well as a plea to the Financial Services Authority (OJK) to put a stop to app-based lending companies, which he referred to as a “devil’s trap”. (wartakotalive.com/Feryanto Hadi)

“Dear online loan sharks, we will meet in the afterlife,” he reportedly wrote in the letter.

He also asked his family not to pay off his debts.

“There is no one else involved but me,” the 35-year-old driver wrote.

There were no details on how much money Zulfadli had owed the lending platforms.

There has been a surge of reports against financial technology (fintech) firms for trapping customers into spiraling debt and allegedly using unethical debt collecting methods, including intimidation, violation of privacy and terror.

As many as 5,000 people signed an online petition on change.org in November last year urging the OJK and the government to resolve the issue.

The Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) also opened a complaint desk, after which 283 people came forward to report receiving verbal and even sexual harassment at the hands of debt collectors.

Many claimed that their relatives and coworkers had been terrorized as well, all to humiliate them into paying their debts, including interest and fines, even though they had never shared their contact details with the online lending firm. (ggq)