PIMPRI-Chinchwad Police have warned of stringent action against illegal moneylenders who often resort to harassment and extortion of people. Police have urged people to come forward and register complaints against such loan sharks and their agents.
In a public appeal, police have said offences under Maharashtra Money Lending Regulation Act, 2014, will be registered against unauthorised money lenders who charge exorbitant interest rates to begin with and then resort to harassment, extortion and illegal seizure from people to recover the dues.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) with Pimpri-Chinchwad Police, Kakasaheb Dole, said, “The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a large number of lay-offs and businesses suffering heavy losses. It was observed that many illegal money lenders who were charging exorbitant interest rates on loans started doing it aggressively. In many cases, these moneylenders resort to extorting even more money than what people owe them. They harass people and seize their properties like vehicles, and electric appliances like TV and refrigerators. We are probing such cases registered in the recent past in which offences of extortion, cheating, house trespass and illegal confinement were registered and the Maharashtra Money Lending Regulation Act was invoked.”
“We want to appeal them to approach their nearest police station if they are facing such harassment from moneylenders and their agents. If they are facing any issues in registering a case at a police station, they can directly approach the Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissionerate. While the number of cases registered with us is less, we believe that there are far more such cases and the problem is a lot more serious than what registered cases reflect. Stringent action under Maharashtra Money Lending Regulation Act will be
taken after thorough investigation. The Anti-Extortion Cell will be asked to probe these cases,” added DCP Dole.
Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox
Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner Ankush Shinde said, “We want people to come forward and report about these illegal moneylenders and their harassment without any fear. We have seen cases where people are being harassed for small loans they have taken more than 10 years ago. There have been instances where elderly persons have been abducted or illegally confined by the moneylenders. Because of fear, people hesitate to come forward and report cases to us.”
In February this year, a 22-year-old man died by suicide after executives of a finance company allegedly harassed him and circulated his morphed images to his relatives for recovery of a Rs 8,000 loan which, probe later revealed, he had not even received but had just inquired about. In September last year, a 30-year-old businessman from Mahalunge allegedly died by suicide following harassment and continued threats from a moneylender and his recovery agent.